Monday, August 1, 2011

Friday: First time to the Tate Modern...across the Millenium Bridge...

After Friday's lovely 3 hour bus tour, we decided to stay downtown a bit longer.   We stopped at Subway (ie. fastfood sandwiches) to get our energy back up, then plunged back into the bowels of the tube line, over to Mansion House, our closest stop to the Millenium Bridge.  The final destination was the Tate Modern, but of course, one needs to think about the journey, and not only the destination, ... and we wanted to journey together over the Millenium Bridge (which was destroyed in Harry Potter book 6, of course!). 

 We wandered across the bridge, and over to the Tate Modern.   The Tate Modern, which is located in the old Bankside Power Station, houses modern art (ie. 1900 to the present).  It is named for Henry Tate, one of the great (?!) sugar barons.  Sugar, we learned on the bus tour, is one of the only products that is still delivered to London via the Thames!

I have a working theory of museum life for the kids this year, a new practice that completely reverses my usual practice.  The new theory is that we never spend more than 45 minutes in a museum on one day (this is as opposed to my own personal preference of being inside from the moment the doors open til the moment they kick me out the door).  Hopefully, the shorter visits will help them work up strength!  :-)   So... with that theory in mind, we only stayed only long enough on this visit to take in  4 works of art:
Bridget Riley
Warhol, Self-Portrait

First, a self-portait by Andy Warhol (of Campbell's Soup can fame). Since both kids were required to do soup can art a la warhol in their elementary school classes, it seemed only right to find Andy and raise our hat to him. 

Second, we spent a bit of time by a piece of Op Art by Bridget Riley. It is basically a bunch of black and white wavy lines, and seems to ripple and move the longer you look at it.

Third, we played an interactive game and quiz about a Jackson Pollack piece called "Summertime".  There were a series of questions, and you got to try to do a computerized version of trying to get paint onto canvas.... fun!  I got to compete against Duncan and Alex.  Their painting skills (in the computerized version) kicked butt on mine!

Finally, we took in a seriously cool installation piece, called "Brutalism: StereoReality Environment" by Jose Carlos Martinez.  it is in the shape of Peru's headquarters.  There are little 'ticker tape' things at the top that prints out and spits out pieces of paper out at 1 minute intervals, with different things written on them, assorted fragments of text on various brutal regimes. They cluster in higher and higher pools of paper on the floor as you watch.

There you go....and then it was back to the tube station and back home.  We will see 4 more things on our next visit....

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the views of the world of Martinez, Riley, Pollack and Warhol. (As if anyone would ever remember Valerie Solanas.) I can still feel the wind on my face on the Millennium Bride when you talk about it on your blog.


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