Onwards to the Tate, which has had an outbreak of Peter Blake. I wanted to see Tracey Emin and William Blake, but there was more of interest, not least a play, starting two humanoid robots, a robot dog, projections of 3 pole dancers and lots of flat screens. While I don’t know how many of the audience understood what was happening – I certainly didn’t – we were transfixed by the the robots. Their gestures and hand movement were brilliant. They even had a little dance at one point. Who wants a robot? Meeee please.
Cecile B Evans: Sprung a Leak 2016
According to the gallery blurb, Evans is interested in how we interact with technologies,and understand the world through the relentless, contradictory and often emotionally charged information we receive. The robots were unsure if the information they were receiving was real or not.
Which is how I feel about Tracey Emin. The Tate says ‘Featuring Emin’s own bed, it [My Bed]offers an unflinching self-portrait in which the artist herself is absent’. Emin tells
Tracey Emin My Bed 1998
a great story in the accompanying video about how she had a complete breakdown and awoke, saw the mess, and realised that she had to set the bed in a gallery space. I’m not as convinced as the Tate seems to be about her self-disclosure. I think she has created a fictional and entertaining character who shares her name, an alter-ego, who is free to exist outside social norms. And why not? For me it makes her work more interesting.
The Tate also has a retrospective of contemporary art, which includes four early Cindy Sherman photographs. She says that, at the time, she was only concerned with how to
Cindy Sherman Untitled 1975
change one character into another. Creating characters and types to explore identity became the core of her work later. Interesting to see how her work developed.
Far too many exhibits to write about – here are some of my favourites.
Grayson Perry Aspects of Myself 2001
Can’t miss the King/Queen of crossover Fine and Applied art: Grayson and his alter-ego, Claire. I’m not sure of the meaning of all the imagery, but I’d have to admit I didn’t study it closely. Need to compare it with his flag version, The Map of Days.
Michelangelo Pistoletto Venue of the Rags 1967, 1974
I’ve seen this so many times in books/online, so it was a treat to see it in real life – an icon of Arte Povera. I loved that Tate had juxtaposed it with Nam June Paik’s Flux Fleet, and created a new narrative.
Nam June Paik Flux Fleet 1974 and Michelangelo Pistoletto Venue of the Rags 1967, 1974
She’s going to need a few good films to get through that lot. Know how she feels.
Louise Bourgeois Mamelles 1991
Bourgeois says this is Don Jaun who feeds from the women he seduces, giving nothing in return. I just love it. Micaela thinks I should put nipples on my 40GG pot (which is actually inspired by a stone wall) – I think I will!