Inside Tate Modern – The Good, the Bad and the Bollocks

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Q: It always makes me feel a little melancholy. Grand old war ship, being ignominiously hauled away to scrap… The inevitability of time, don’t you think? What do you see?
James Bond: A bloody big ship. – Skyfall.


Of course I should have made notes. Read the tiny blurbs of text by each exhibit and digested how artists attempt to interpret dysfunctional elements of modern society. But I’m no existentialist. As I stare at Monet’s Water Lilies, my mind is already racing ahead to my next sardonic self-effacing quip on Instagram. In secret, I’m not sure I feel anything when I look at Monet’s Water Lilies. Mother loves Monet, she loves Impressionism, so she’s happy, which in turn makes me happy. Only it’s short lived as we soon realise that we’re in the wrong gallery and all the Monet’s are stashed over in the National Gallery. Never mind.


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Can’t say I’m much into Rothko, but I did sit in the Rothko room for a bit. Originally his work was intended for the Four Seasons but the lad went a bit off-piste and didn’t think they’d be suitable so he pulled out of the commission and donated them to the Tate instead. I did read that blurb and Rothko mentioned, ‘I want people to look at my work in a room and feel like they need to bang their head on the wall.’ I imagine if the Tate didn’t accept them he would have perhaps just donated them to Barnardo’s.


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The White Room was novel. In fairness I did say to Mother, take a picture of the white painting on the white wall, it will look crazy. She did, and it does.


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This one I did like. Kruger liked to replace iconic branding motifs with existential questions, riffing on the reprisal of global totalitarianism in modern times. Of course it doesn’t mean that. I just wanted to use the word totalitarianism in a sentence. But then again that’s the beauty of art, you can say relatively anything and get away with it.


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