My shiny little online spot to help y'all keep track of me while I galavant around London.

Sunday, November 11, 2007


The Tate Modern has a new installation in the Turbine hall, which (for those of you who have never seen it) is a massive, open concrete space in the former power building.

Previously, it's been home to thousands of white boxes as well as slides. Based on those two alone, you can imagine why I get the urge to go back whenever they have something new.

So this is what they've done this time... they've cracked the floor. Or more precisely, some artist has. It's supposed to represent something about racism and divided society, but I just think it's cool.

As did the hundreds of visitors there. People were generally using it as one big photo prop, taking shots of themselves straddling it, lying down next to it, or jumping over it. Kids treated it like a toy, dancing around it and sticking their feet in the wider bits.

There's a warning sign near the ticket desk, warning people to watch where they step. Art than can hurt you (or, at least your ankles) -- now that's good times.

In other artastic news, Shannon and I went to go see the Turner Prize Retrospective at Tate Britain. The actual Turner Prize is temporarily in Liverpool this year, so they've gathered up a bunch of pieces from the last 23 years and crammed it in a few rooms.

As a show, it's not great. Some pieces seem to have no explanation whatsoever. And, generally, I'm not all that happy with Turner stuff. But there was a pair of Chris Ofili paintings, which are awesome, and the Damien Hirst cows in formaldehyde, which was cool to see, if a bit gross. I really liked this one video, too, by Gillian Wearing of police arranged in a group portrait and then filmed for an hour while they just stand there. Really cool and surprisingly enjoyable to watch.

Post-Tate, Shannon and I went in search of Starbucks -- mmm... gingerbread latte, I love you -- and happened past Trafalgar Square, where there's a new statue up on the fourth plinth. It doesn't have a permanent statue, so they rotate a new one in every 18 months. The last one was a gorgeous statue of a pregnant woman with no arms or legs... I wasn't sure about it at first, but it def grew on me.

Now, there's this:

It's called Model for a Hotel. It looks a bit like cheap shelving from Ikea, but it certainly is bright and colourful, and London can always use a bit of colour. But it does look rather out of place among all the military statues.

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