The idle ramblings of a Jack of some trades, Master of none

Sep 22, 2013

At Pop Tate's Modern

Poor joke, that there title. I wandered about the Tate Modern gallery a bit ago and saw some stuff that can never be unseen. When I recovered my wits, I staggered into adjoining rooms where surrealism and Russian revolutionary posters clashed against constructivism and post-Impressionism and several other -isms that did little to restore my tissues. But there were two (or possibly three) pieces that were quite impressive and had somehow slipped my attention the last time I visited.

First was geometry dissed by tumbleweed as visualised by the German artist Gego (Gertrud Goldschmidt, 1912-1994). 
Untitled, by Gego (1977).
Untitled, by Gego. (1977).
Gego had a serious problem with idealism, especially that portrayed geometrically. Hence these modular shapes cast about the floor.

Then I saw this frenzied relief by Sergio Camargo (1930-1990). This Franco-Brazilian sculptor envisaged a synthesis of material roughness and artistic craft by using wood in a relief suggestive of crystal growth. More geometric obsession but with the added dimension of light-and-shadow play. I can tell you little more.
Large Split Relief No. 34/4/74, by Sergio Camargo (1964-65)
Large Split Relief No. 34/4/74, by Sergio Camargo. (1964-65).
And, lastly, I saw Fred Wilson's exploration of racial identity, appropriation and myth, titled Grey Area (Black Version) (1993). Among African Americans there seems to be a perception that Nefertiti was a Black African queen, although, of course, historians are not as sure. Fred Wilson wanted to point out these obscurities and he did so by reproducing multiple copies of an ancient Egyptian bust of Nefertiti.
Grey Area (Black Version) by Fred Wilson (1993)
Grey Area (Black Version), by Fred Wilson. (1993).
As I was heading down one of the long escalators in the museum, I was struck by a translucent shield that partially reflected the escalators and allowed the people behind it to be seen. When I say 'struck', I don't mean 'struck', but 'struck', don't you know. I call this wonderful piece of dynamic photography Verisimilitude. Observe the interplay between the perpendicular and the transverse, the clean lines of the escalator and the intangibility of the reflection, the acceleration of the women straining to exit the premises and the concentrated communication of the other women. Note as well the juxtaposition of the mythical against the charitable, with the pudding melting off the sightless woman's head onto the donation cabinet beneath. Feel free to be awed and to acclaim. 

Verisimilitude, by Fëanor. (2013).


Paridhi said...

photos/artwork look quite interesting. yet to read what you wrote though.
I recently bought a sketch/print from a friend who lives in London. check your inbox for pics:)

Parmanu said...

Enough of the false modesty now -- it is a great photograph. And you know why.

Fëanor said...

Right, step up, step up, copies of the great photograph available for a limited time only!

paridhi said...

May I please have a copy of verisimilitude? ;) I love this one.

Fëanor said...

Paridhi: For you, 20% off!

Post a Comment