Monday, 1 November 2010

In London

During half term week, London was full of people. Apart from the thousands of foreign tourists that fill every day its streets and museums, english families travel to the capital to visit its museums and exhibitions.

Museums looked like shopping centres during the sales. The queues, the noise, the quantity of people turned the visit into a torture in museums like The Natural History Museum, the Imperial War Museu or Tate Modern. The parks, less sought after by tourists but very much appreciated by Londoners, allowed us to take a deep breath, relax and enjoy the marvellous colours of autumn.

Among everything I saw, I would highlight two things. The first is the sculpture “Sunflower seeds” by Chinese artist
Ai Weiwei, installed in Tate Modern´s Turbine Hall.
Mao Tse Tung was depicted as the sun and the Chinese people as sunflowers turning towards him. At the same time, Ai Weiwei remembers the sharing of sunflower seeds as a gesture of friendship, compassion and kindness at those times of pain, repression and uncertainty. The museum takes it even further: What does it mean to be an individual in today's society? Are we insignificant or powerless unless we act together? What do our increasing desires, materialism and number mean for society, the environment and the future? More information on this work here and also a video about its creation here.

The second highlight goes to open air sculptures by artist
Anish Kapoor, which compose the exhibition Turning the World Upside Down.

A hundred million porcelain seeds, each sculpted individually by more than 1600 chinese artisans. A work that could be classified as ‘beautiful’ or ‘impressive’, but which, as we discover it through texts and videos, gains a whole different dimension. “Art is a tool to set up new questions. To create a basic structure which can be open to possibilities is what is more interesting in my work. I want people who don´t understand what art is to understand what I am doing”, says the artist and known activist. This piece bears reference to the ancient chinese art of porcelain, but also to the Cultural Revolution, during which

Set up in Kensington Gardens, the sculptures reflect the sky, the trees, the people that walk around and pause to contemplate them. It seems that they re-dimension the space around us and project it once again. The sculptures will be exhibited until spring and will follow the changes of weather and of the seasons. More information on this exhibition

No comments: