The Robert Rauschenberg show was disappointing with a very narrow exhibition concept or wider story, a simple walk through of his work. The Schwitters In Britain show a few years ago was a much broader and more absorbing offer, incorporating contemporary reactions from Adam Chodzko and Laure Prouvost of Grizedale Arts. Given Rauschenberg’s long varied career, and his continuing influence, I’m sure a more inventive show was entirely possible. Also, sadly, underwhelmed by the Wolfgang Tillmans show – again an uninspiring one dimensional presentation of his work, particularly when the issues he raises are so key to the current socio-political debate.
However, the informal performances taking place in the tanks, the bowels of the Tate, were surprising and refreshing. Dancers permeated visitors, leaning on pillars almost imperceptibly swaying to a mesmerising sound loop. The tanks are a group of dark cave like concrete rooms. Neon installations, echoing industrial music, a sweet damp concrete smell and emergency lighting are reminiscent of multi-storey car parks, warehouse parties and improvised sub-culture venues – a nostalgic sensory experience.
The fairground spectacle of Fujiko Nakaya’s London Fog #03779 was also very popular, drawing people out of the main building to enjoy a distinct sensory experience.