Art Danish trio Superflex, known for their playful and political large-scale works, have directed their attention to the huge space that is the Turbine Hall at the Tate Modern in London.
Here are nine things you need to know about the artists and their latest commission.1) That is Superflex?
Founded by artists Bjornstjerne Christiansen, Jakob Fenger, and Rasmus Nielsen in the early 90s, the group has become known for his huge public commissions.
These include Superkilen, an eclectic public park in Copenhagen, and the Team of the Hospital, an operation theatre created as part of a trade fair, Switzerland. Later flew from the gallery to a hospital in Syria. The group’s work frequently focuses on political activism.
2) it Is a playground, but not as we know it
The Turbine Hall project returns to the theme park there are swings everywhere. But these are not all of the old swings. These are the three seats of the swings!
As Fenger, explains: “it creates opportunities when we do things together. Most of the things are done collectively. The world is full of too many oscillations.”
Christiansen agrees: “we want the people sitting next to each other you wouldn’t normally do, unless they were in public transport.” 3) Three is the magic number
The three artists have divided the Turbine space, guess what? – three sections.
There is the slope of the section with a huge pendulum hanging on a soft carpet of stripes, the “playground” area with swings and a orange metal bars that hang, and a small “factory” where the changes are created.
4) There is no such thing as “I”.
The trio has strong feelings about the whole work.
“We believe that there is no such thing as an individual artist, is a construct. You can’t walk alone,” says Nielsen. More about the modern art
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5) You – yes, you! – you can be a part of this project
This is the first time that a Turbine Room of the exhibition will extend beyond the gallery boundaries to the outside world.
Superflex has installed a “bank of opportunity” just outside of the gallery, where members of the public can propose sites in London and beyond the site of the next blow.
The goal, says Christiansen, “is to try to make connections that are not natural, for example, a swing is placed through a fence, between a social housing estate, and a bank”. And he adds: “It opens up a different way to think about your neighbor.”
6) It’s all about the money
The guys have a bit of a thing about currency, having designed a picture of a euro coin in 2012 in response to the Greek financial crisis.
This time, the carpet stripes below the pendulum represents the pound sterling.
“We extracted the colors of the notes,” Nielsen says. 7) Prepare to be mesmerized
Many artists deliberately don’t explain your work – but these guys are happy to tell you everything. For those of you who don’t just want to have fun playing on the swings, the pendulum represents the apathy.
“It feels like we are living in the last couple of hours of the Titanic,” Nielsen explains. “It is as if we have a little hypnotized by the global capitalism”.
In contrast, the oscillations are about avoiding apathy in favor of the collective action and the factory element was inspired by the Tate Modern’s original industrial use as a power station. So now you know.
8) Take a walk through the forest
The floor is made of organic cork to feel like “a walk in the woods,” says Christiansen. And an added bonus – it smells like a walk in the woods, too!9) All aboard
Superflex, the next project is just as exciting – they are going to be the leaders of the expedition in a boat where they will be curating works on board.
And there’s more – the trio is planning to go deep sea diving in the ocean and they are “working with people who make underwater robots”.
Superflex One, Two, Three, Swing! opens the Tuesday, October 3 at the gallery Tate Modern in London, and runs until April 2, 2018.
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