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The New Tate Modern: a Truly 21st Century Gallery

SEEN was fascinated to have the opportunity of exploring this iconic addition to the world-famous Tate Gallery. We were pleased to note the huge open spaces and the way the spiral staircase flowed up and down, almost making the movement of visitors an artwork in itself. We were powerfully reminded of Carsten Höller’s playful slide that connected the floors leading into the Turbine Hall, a few years ago.

SEEN was fascinated to have the opportunity of exploring this iconic addition to the world-famous Tate Gallery. We were pleased to note the huge open spaces and the way the spiral staircase flowed up and down, almost making the movement of visitors an artwork in itself. We were powerfully reminded of Carsten Höller’s playful slide that connected the floors leading into the Turbine Hall, a few years ago.

Tate Modern HdM 1829

Everything in the Switch House smells so new, yet seems to blend seamlessly into the architecture of the existing building. Windows stretch from floor to ceiling with great views upon which to rest the eye. Even the ceiling fittings used to control the light and air were works of art in themselves.

Tate Modern HdM 2176

The highlights for SEEN were Apichatpong Weerasethakul in the Tanks on Level 0; his immersive and huge film installations were quite giddying and mysterious in their complexity. There is a fascinating Marina Abramović archive, laid out like an altar beneath a video-recording of her infamous Rhythm 0 performance of 1974, in which she gave over control of her body to her audience with objects that inflicted pleasure and pain. A photographic and object archive, Women and Work examined conditions faced by women workers in seventies Britain as the Equal Pay act came into being. Suzanne Lacy’s Crystal Quilt is an unusual video, sound and action installation about the effects of aging on women, and what it means to rely on your family in your elder years. These poignant and moving pieces sit very well alongside more famous acquisitions like Louise Bourgeois’s Spider, now in a dedicated room, and Ai Wei-Wei’s Tree.

General views of the new restaurant on Level 9 at the Switch House, Tate Modern, on June 9, 2016 in London, England. The restaurant opens to the public on June 17, 2016.
General views of the new restaurant on Level 9 at the Switch House, Tate Modern, on June 9, 2016 in London, England. The restaurant opens to the public on June 17, 2016.

SEEN took the lift to the tenth floor for a truly breathtaking 360 degree view of London. Tate Modern seems to have made this iconic city an installation in its own right. Interestingly, if you leave Tate Modern via the Switch Room, you have a chance to admire the angled architecture. No detail of line and beauty has been omitted. SEEN feels that the whole extension serves to heighten the excellent reputation that Tate Modern already holds as a world-class destination in which to view, admire or be provoked by the very best in modern art.

General views of the new restaurant on Level 9 at the Switch House, Tate Modern, on June 9, 2016 in London, England. The restaurant opens to the public on June 17, 2016.
General views of the new restaurant on Level 9 at the Switch House, Tate Modern, on June 9, 2016 in London, England. The restaurant opens to the public on June 17, 2016.
General views of the new restaurant on Level 9 at the Switch House, Tate Modern, on June 9, 2016 in London, England. The restaurant opens to the public on June 17, 2016.
General views of the new restaurant on Level 9 at the Switch House, Tate Modern, on June 9, 2016 in London, England. The restaurant opens to the public on June 17, 2016.

Link to previous SEEN article: The Tate Modern Project

Tate Modern
Bankside
London SE1 9TG

www.tate.org.uk

Open:
Sunday to Thursday 10.00–18.00
Friday to Saturday 10.00–22.00