Because the UK is rolling so much money, it doesn’t actually know how to spend it all (</sarcasm> in case you hadn’t picked it up), people and organisations can apparently afford to give their cold, hard cash to daft art projects. Like this one, open now at the Tate Modern Turbine Hall:
Empty Lot is a large geometric sculpture created using scaffolding, a grid of triangular wooden planters, and soil collected from parks across London including Peckham, Haringey and Westminster. Nothing will be planted in the soil, but it will be lit by lamps and watered throughout the six month display.
So, some soil, in some triangular planters, some lights and some water.
It might sound ever so dull, but you’d be wholly incorrect, because:
This living city of weeds is one of the most exciting works to take over the Turbine Hall
Which doesn’t exactly fill you with admiration at those that have gone before. Which, you’ll recall, included Doris Salcedo’s Shibboleth:
…the first work to intervene directly in the fabric of the Turbine Hall and dramatically shifted our perception of the Turbine Hall’s architecture, subtly subverting its claims to monumentality and grandeur.
How very dare she?
Then there was I Do, I Undo, I Redo, in which Louise Bourgeois created the first Turbine Hall commission:
Consisting of three steel towers – each some 9 metres (30 ft) high – they dominated the east end of the hall. Visitors could climb the staircases to the platforms, which Bourgeois envisaged would become stages for intimate and revelatory encounters between strangers and friends alike.
And the infamous The Weather Project where Olafur Eliasson took the ubiquitous subject of the weather as the basis for exploring ideas about experience, mediation and representation.
And now we have some weeds. Or… er… not, if they don’t grow, because, of course:
The unpredictable nature of the work, which may grow and change from one week to the next, provokes questions about the city and nature, as well as wider ideas of chance, change, and hope.
Sweet baby cheeses…
Call me a philistine if you must (and you surely will), but can’t believe that I am alone in thinking that something altogether better and more worthwhile could have been done with every single penny which was put towards this project. I mean, whatever next? Wrapping trees in bog roll?
No. Wait. We’ve already done that…