Monday, February 20, 2012

Tate Modern - A Year Later

In early February of 2011, my pal Adam and I went to the Tate Modern. He said I had to see the turbine room. Exactly one year later, I was meandering through on a snowy Sunday with my NYC pal Emily. I've never been the biggest appreciator of modern art. It is slowly growing on me though. And some stuff I still only enjoy from a child's amusement perspective.  The Sleep & Poetry stuff was wild and weird. Japanese pop art always always makes me happy. Venus & the pile of laundry got a laugh. 

One exhibition, though, really got to me. It took the full year-- seeing it in 2011 and then seeing it reduced in 2012-- for it to really resonate. Ai Weiwei's Sunflower Seeds exhibit. It started in the turbine room, a sheer feat of massive spectacle (all of the sunflower seeds were handmade and a little bit bigger than real seeds).

When I returned, the exhibit had been reduced to one small room, a half-hearted pile. 

And maybe it's just the melodramatic side of me, but I was struck by, well, mortality. It was really beautiful and sad. Everything with its time and place. A time to be a headliner. And a time to be relegated to the sideshow. 

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