Tate Modern 31.10.17


As part of our enhancement week activities, we went to the Tate Modern to see the famous exhibition in the Turbine Hall and look around on each floor.




Bridget Riley:





Maria Helena Viera da Silva, 1908-1992, born Portugal, worked France – The Tiled Room, 1935, Oil paint on canvas

Hans Bellmer, 1902-1975, born Poland, worked Poland, Germany, France – Peg-Top, c.1937-52, Oil paint on canvas

Wilfredo Lam, 1902-1982, born Cuba, worked Spain, France, Cuba – Ibaye, 1950, Oil paint on canvas





Jack Whitten, 1939, born and works USA – Epsilon Group II, 1977, Oil paint on canvas






Jesus Rafael Soto 1923-2005, born Venezuela, worked Venezuela, France – Cardinal, 1965, wood on chipboard, metal rods and nylon threads


György Kepes 1906-2001, born Hungary, worked Hungary, Germany, Britain, USA

Gauze and Funnel Photogram, c.1939, photograph, gelatin silver print on paper

Blobs and Circles, c.1939-40, photograph, gelatin silver print on paper


György Kepes, 1906-2001, born Hungary, worked Hungary, Germany, Britain, USA

Black and White Stripes, c.1939-40, photograph, gelatin silver print on paper

Circles and Dots, c.1939-40, photograph, gelatin silver print on paper

Feathery Light, c.1939-40, photograph, gelatin silver print on paper

Propeller, c.1939-40, photograph, gelatin silver print on paper

Spiral, c.1939-40, photograph, gelatin silver print on paper

Guerilla Girls




Colin Self 1941, born and works Britain – Leopardskin Nuclear Bomber No.2, 1963, wood, aluminium, steel and fabric


Nam June Paik, 1932-2006, born South Korea, worked South Korea, Japan, Germany, USA

Nixon, 1965-2002, video, 2 monitors, black and white and colour, sound and magnetic coils


Nam June Paik, 1932-2006, born South Korea, worked South Korea, Japan, Germany, USA

Three Eggs, 1975-1982, video, video camera, 2 colour television receivers, 2 eggs


Also see: Hito Steyerl, 1966, born and works Germany – How Not to Be Seen: A Fucking Didactic Educational .MOV File, 2013, video, running time: 14 min


Above and below:

Sheela Gowda, Behold, 2009, steel car bumpers, knotted human hair




Above 3: Lenore Tawney, 1907-2007, born and Worked USA – ink on paper, 1964-5


Above: Gustav Metzger, 1926-2017, born Germany, worked Britain – Liquid Crystal Environment, automated version 2005, original performance 1965-6, 5 glass slides, liquid crystals, polarising gel, 5 slide projectors, 5 custom-built controls, software, rotating polarising filter

Running time: 22 min, looped



Julie Mehretu, 1970, born Ethiopia, works USA – Mogamma, A Painting in Four Parts: Part 3, 2012, ink and acrylic paint on canvas


Above and below:

Monika Sosnowska, 1972, born and works Poland – Pavilion, 2016, painted steel


Above: Bruce Nauman, 1941, born and works USA – No, 1981, lithograph on paper

Above: Bruce Nauman, 1941, born and works USA – Run From Fear, Fun From Rear, 1972, neon signs


​Turbine Hall


​Turbine Hall


​Turbine Hall


Above: ​Carlos Cruz-Diez, 1923, born Venezuela, works Venezuela, France – Physichromie No.113, 1963, reconstructed 1976, painted aluminium and stainless steel


​​Picture below refers to video above:



Above: Heinz Mack, 1931, born Germany, works Germany, USA – Light Dynamo, 1963, aluminium, glass, wood and motor


Above:​ Yayoi Kusuma, 1929, born Japan, works Japan, USA – The Passing Winter, 2005, mirror and glass


Pipilotti Rist

P I P I L O T T I     R I S T


Pipilotti Rist works largely with film, often displayed as projections. Her work is better described as an immersive environment than a video installation. Her film is projected across darkened rooms, often surrounded by curtains, where duvets and pillows are provided. Accompanying her videos are sometimes still-life pieces and miscellaneous objects, such as vases, books, empty bottles, antique furniture, plants, and more1. Sometimes these things become part of the video, as the video is projected onto them. Her “Lobe of the Lung” installation at the Hayward Gallery in 2009, also known as “Eyeball Massage,”2 included a pair of underpants on a washing line and a bubble machine, periodically releasing a single bubble filled with smoke. This possibly represents flatulence; contributing to Rist’s recurring conveyance of bodily functions and the idea of people as natural organisms.


The video part of this exhibition displayed a woman eating tulips and spreading her hands through dirt. This shows a literal connection or affinity with nature and filth. The artist has described her work2 as an expression of what she herself lacks, and that it comments on how overly clean people have become – i.e. the dirt represents what Rist (or perhaps humanity in general) lacks in life. She also links her work to the effect our obsession with cleanliness has on the environment, which could be why her installation also features a wall plastered with empty food containers – also a nod to the movement of Arte Povera, possibly. The alternative title “eyeball massage”, which suggests that the work is intended to give the impression of being good for the health. There are even duvets and pillows provided. Her work is not only intended to be art, but also to be a healing environment, where gallery visitors can relax, let their mind wander, and re-engage with their animalian side.


Rist has gone on to influence much of my work, including my summer project and my film work (Cast-Iron and The Giant of Illinois).

  1. Artists – Pipilotti Rist – Images and Clips – Hauser and Wirth (2017), online at https://www.hauserwirth.com/artists/25/pipilotti-rist/images-clips/ (accessed 18 September 2017)
  2. “Artist Pipilotti Rist’s Eyeball Massage: ‘dedicated to pleasure and being alive’ – video” (The Guardian, 2011), online at https://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/video/2011/oct/05/artist-pipilotti-rist-eyeball-massage-video (accessed 16 September 2017)



Summer Project 2017

For 2017’s summer project, the brief was to research these ten artists…

Pipilotti Rist

Wolfgang Tillmans

Tania bruguera

Samson Kambalu

R.H. Quaytman

Ming Wong

Isa Genzken

Dayanita Singh

Caroline Achaintre

Arturo Herrera

…choose our favourite, and make artwork that imaginatively responds to theirs.

When looking through the artist’s work on their websites or on gallery articles, their some stood out to me straight away, while others took some reflection to fully understand.

IMG_5393 2

My face distorted by a glass of water. In greyscale to contrast with the vivid colour of the other photographs.

Rist stood out to me immediately. I saw her mode of expression as beautiful; her artwork to me provokes awe, imagination, and intense emotion. Caroline Achaintre’s work was strangely captivating to me as well; her ability to conjure human faces out of material, shaggy, asymmetrical textile work is simply inspired. I also began to really appreciate Arturo Herrera’s work after some reading & reflection – it was his series including Disney characters that drew my attention most, because I love the idea of conflicting images.


Tree leaves at dusk. During the group crit, some people mistook this for a blood splatter, which I found fascinating. Perhaps a blood splatter would have suited the aesthetic of the piece.

Even though I had not fully researched every artist, I eventually decided to just start making my work because I’d had an idea already and I didn’t want to fall into the trap of procrastinating. I thought I’d begin the process and use the artists to inform my practice, rather than use the research as a starting point because it was always intended to be my own work, not something in the style of someone else.


A translucent blue plastic box with a torch inside, creating an eerie blue glow, intensified by the extremely high colour saturation. If you look closely, you can see a knife reflected in the plastic – this is a reaction to Herrera’s use of oppositions; the dangerous and unnerving image of the knife contrasts wildly to the calming blue light.

I began to take pictures of various things and edit them on my phone. I found turning the colour saturation all the way up gave otherwise mundane things a radiant quality, as if being soaked in liquid light. This process was inspired by pipilotti rist’s film work and general aesthetic; I think the results are reminiscent of her work.


A little still-life I organised. These objects are mostly relics from various seaside holidays i’ve been on, so to me this image is about childhood. On the finished piece, this contrasts sharply with the themes of dystopia and suffering brought about by the cover of Orwell’s “1984.”

I was inspired to do a collage by Herrera’s work, so I printed out my favourite of these colourful images and thought about how I could arrange them. I found a smallish canvas lying about at home and a box made of shiny holographic cardboard, which was unexpected and gave me some ideas…


The process of making: here we see the first photos being stuck on, along with streaks of this holographic material. From this angle it appears green; yet if looked at from above it turns a warm reddish hue.

Herrera’s Disney work had also inspired me to work with oppositions. Therefore I wanted to juxtapose these trippy, brightly coloured photos with something muted or classical. I decided to paint a clay pot on part of the canvas to contrast with the photos, because it reflects some of the literature I was reading at the time; for example Keats’ poem “Ode on a Grecian Urn.” Another obvious example is Orwell’s “1984”, the cover of which can be seen clearly in the finished artwork.


Orwell’s “1984”

I made the holographic material (along with the odd piece of tin foil) look like a silvery metallic liquid dripping down the piece – giving me a good way of separating the photos seamlessly.


I sketched out river-like structures on the canvas to mark out where the photographs should go and what shape to cut them.


Making this work was somewhat improvisational; the process was very organic – I fitted each photo around each other and cut out flowing shapes of the shiny material to act as borders between them.


The finished piece; complete with an acrylic painting of a plant pot. During our group criticism, people could immediately see the influence of Pipilotti Rist in the colour scheme; which did not surprise me. People also quickly picked up on the image of “1984” and the dystopian themes that brings, as well as its contrast to the surrounding themes of flowers, childhood and colour. I am pleased with the final effect, I think the colours work well as does the eclectic mix of images. I think people might find it quite enigmatic. The only missed opportunity as far as I’m concerned was that I could have framed it – over summer I worked as a framer – but there were no spare frames available that I liked. I think the white surrounding edges of the canvas, which cannot be seen in this photo, rather spoil the effect.




Summer Project




Shown above is my summer project. It was created using a silver paint pen and orange acrylic on black mount-board, a cardboard-material which is commonly used for framing but I found it the ideal surface to draw on for this task. My piece was inspired in some ways by an artist called Rebecca Ward, whom I first encountered at the “Making and Unmaking” exhibition at the Camden arts centre. After discovering her work there, I researched her work further and found out about perhaps her most famous works: her tape installations. Shown below are some of my favourites:



Image credit (above 3): De La Hoz, Ryan, Rebecca Ward’s Intricate Tape Installations, online at: beautifuldecay.com/2013/04/04/rebecca-wards-intricate-tape-installations/

My summer project was also inspired in part by an artist called Robert Beatty, who wasn’t featured in the “Making and Unmaking” exhibition but still had a large bearing on my work. The elements of op art that I used in my work was inspired mostly by Beatty’s album cover of Tame Impala’s “‘Cause I’m A Man” (shown below). I like to think this influence is clear.