Thursday, October 13, 2011

Good mates, good art and good beer

With those three elements, I'd say it was a perfect day.

Wednesday had an appointed beginning (meeting Judy at Tate Modern) and end (Guess Where London meetup at Craft Beer Co. in Leather Lane), but lots of room in the middle for spontaneous choices and a walk in the sunshine, when it made a brief appearance, along the Southbank. The first (and the best) thing we saw at Tate Modern was Tacita Dean's new Unilever installation in Turbine Hall, which had just opened the day before. I purposely didn't look at any press coverage of the opening, because I didn't want to have any images in my head of what it would be like. It's big and it's fab! We viewed it first from the bridge across Turbine Hall, and then went down below, where people were sitting on the floor to view it and little kids kept running up and touching the screen. It really needs to be seen from both vantage points, as in incorporates architectural elements from Turbine Hall itself and you need to experience it from both angles and in both scales. I'm doing a mental inventory of the four or five Unilever installations I've seen, and I think that this is by far my favorite.

After Judy treated me to lunch, we wandered across the river to One New Change to check out the views from their 6th floor roof garden. Nice view of the dome of St Paul's, but you really can't see much of the City or beyond because parts of the building itself -- which is an ugly shopping centre -- are in the way. While you can get some glimpses of bridges, the river itself isn't visible. And there are no views to the north, which I would have enjoyed. I guess I'll just have to wait for next year's Open House and go to Broadgate Tower if I want panoramic views.

Back across the river, we returned to the Tate Modern. All together, we saw Diane Arbus photos, Contested Terrains (four African artists), and did a quick walk through the very, very grey Gerhard Richter exhibition (my advice is to skip the rooms with the grey stuff and go straight for the color).

A wander in the warm sun brought us to the Hayward Gallery, where we met up with our mate Malcolm and chatted under a festive bunting of white underpants. More white underpants, this time in the form of a large chandelier (called the "Massachusetts Chandelier" -- don't ask me why as I haven't found out yet), awaited us inside -- all part of Pipilotti Rist's Eyeball Massage. This exhibition was great fun -- full of videos, projected onto walls and gauze curtains, onto objects small and large, inside pocketbooks and shells, and even from a tiny hole in the floor. You can walk in and out of the curtains, stick your head into holes to see things in a large box, or lounge on the floor on pillows made of stuffed trousers and shirts. This review describes it much better than I can.

When our eyeballs were thoroughly massaged, Malcolm and I said goodbye to Judy and walked up to Leather Lane (with a quick stop to look at the inside of The Black Friar pub, which I'd never seen) for the GWL meetup. The Craft Beer Co. is a lovely, new-ish pub that serves a great variety of crafted ales (I had one called Winter Meltdown and another called Hophead -- thanks Malc and David for treating me!). As always, it was lovely to catch up with old mates and to meet new ones.

Another note of explanation for my faithful and observant readers: My posts are time stamped with Eastern Standard Time (GMT -5). Please don't think that I'm awake at 4 in the morning writing these -- I'm too knackered to stay up that late or wake that early.

(Judy treated me to lunch and exhibition entry at the Tate Modern)
£2.75 for beverage at the Hayward
£8 for the Pipilotti Rist exhibition

20,975 steps
8.27 miles

1 comment:

    You're welcome!