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Tate modern - Commonwealth

Jennifer Allora and Guillermo Calzadilla, Thomas Hirschhorn, Carsten Höller, Gabriel Orozco

Until 28 Dec 03

Art and play is a funny combination and a tough shot for any art institution, especially a rather sophisticated one the Tate Modern. And play is a particularly poignant display not only when it is created as art, but even more curious and intriguing when it acts as a catalyst to explore the meaning and implications of the word Commonwealth. Don’t get me wrong. This exhibition isn’t just a game and some work doesn’t even let us touch, but having had such freedom already, we are more inclined to explore provocative pieces such as Hirschhorn’s Hotel Democracy and within this unusual space, which has already encouraged us to interact, we feel more relaxed to perhaps, comment. But the true success of this show is the amount of interaction necessary to make it really work. As you walk in you are enticed by the sound of Casten Höller’s Frisbee House, while his mirrored wall, draws you near, suddenly opening as you get close leading you to another wall in a Star Wars kind of way. The Tate Modern has got together some of the most interesting and culturally aware international artists, who make us consider not only our individual situation, but the world outside and the politics that affect our daily lives. Having such intriguing installations as Thomas Hirschhorn’s U-Lounge you are forced to contemplate, while through play such as Orozco’s Ping Pond Table and Allora and Calzadilla’s piece Land Mark, serious issues of rules and possession are investigated ultimately highlighting just how vast this word ‘Commonwealth’ really is.


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