“E”s with bah gum downt’ Tate Modern
As preparations for the opening of Tate Modern next month reach fever pitch, The Art Newspaper can reveal that all manner of multimedia merriment is being planned after The Queen has officially opened the Museum at 11pm. Less sober ceremonial will take place at the evening party when, in an appropriately post-industrial touch, the giant turbine hall of the former Bankside power station will ring to the awesome sound of “Acid brass”, a project conceived by the artist Jeremy Deller, in which the Williams Fairey Brass Band from Stockport plays a medley of classic Acid House dance anthems. As well as such numbers as “Voodoo Ray” and “What time is love”, which brought together a new generation in abandoned warehouses nationwide throughout the 1980s, the band will be playing some specially commissioned tunes in honour of the opening of Britain’s first Museum of Modern Art.
In addition, there will be a performance devised by veteran American choreographer Bill Forsyth and, to round it all off, at 11 pm, the design company Imagination have conjured up a son et lumière extravaganza which will play across the exterior of the of Giles Gilbert Scott’s massive brick bulk. However, if your invitation does not arrive, or the prospect of undiluted exposure to the entire art world is too daunting, both BBC 1 and BBC 2 will be broadcasting live from Bankside at various points throughout the 7-11pm knees-up, with Kirsty Wark and Matthew Collings as your party presenters.
Mummery is on the move
A power station, on a rather more modest scale, is to be the new home of dealer Andrew Mummery who, from the middle of May, is moving into a former electricity sub-station not far from his current gallery space also in Clerkenwell. Although not quite of Bankside dimensions, 63 Compton Street, EC1 will nonetheless provide 100 square-metres of exhibition space, as well as being of sufficient height to create a mezzanine office floor. “It’s a great space—we’re trying to keep the character of the building as much as possible,” Mr Mummery told The Art Newspaper. “With its concrete beams it has the feel of a Chelsea space in New York.” Builders permitting, the complete move should take place at the end of May, although Mr Mummery is eager to have things at least partially up and running to coincide with the opening of Tate Modern.
Miro previews her new space
Victoria Miro is also taking advantage of the mid-May art-world invasion of London to preview her new East End space at 16 Wharf Road, just off City Road. The Victorian factory building will open a mixed show of the gallery stable (which includes Peter Doig, Chris Ofili, Andreas Gursky, Ian Hamilton Finlay, Thomas Demand and Abigail Lane) on 2 May, while the building is still in its raw, light industrial state before the builders move in. After the show closes on 30 June, the full refurbishment will then take place and, rather than using a big name architect, the artists will be playing a close part in the design process. The gallery will then reopen in the autumn with a solo show by Thomas Demand.
Contemporary art is hospitalised at Chelsea and Westminster
They say that art can heal, but the wilder shores of contemporary art are more commonly associated with raising the blood pressure. However, this has not deterred Chelsea and Westminster Hospital from augmenting their more conventional collection, which includes pieces by Bruce McLean, Patrick Heron and a mobile by Allan Jones, with an exhibition of eight challenging new commissions from the likes of Martin Creed, David Shrigley and Brian Cyril Griffiths. “It was quite nerve-wracking. We took sixty-four works out to put these new works in,” says exhibition curator Tamsin Dillon. “Although it looked rather naked at first, I think the new works have had a refreshing effect.”
Visitors entering the hospital are greeted by colossal two-metre-high helmeted figures by Brian Cyril Griffith, made from lining paper and bearing names such as “Matron with healing hands”, “Nurse with X-ray eyes” and “Doctor with telepathic powers”, while David Shrigley has added to the hospital’s plethora of information pamphlets by providing his own takeaway photograph portraits of demented-looking doctors, which could be chilling, confusing or amusing, depending on your frame of mind. However there is comfort to be found in Martin Creed’s neon sign which welcomes visitors with the reassuring sentiment: “Don’t worry”. This, according to the exhibition’s organisers, is the work of art most likely to be given permanent status in the building.
Camberwell car park
How many engineers does it take to put a Volkswagen in a sitting room? A great many, according to Laura-Godfrey Isaacs, whose gallery space “home”, based in the Camberwell house she shares with her partner and daughter, takes on its most ambitious project yet: the parking of a Volkswagen van in the living room by artist Elizabeth Wright. In order to achieve this feat, a technical team from Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles, Pursers Van Centre and 4D Productions have had to dismantle the vehicle and then put it back together as if it had never been anything but intact, a process described by Godfrey Isaacs describes as being “like putting a ship in a bottle.”
Elizabeth Wright, shortlisted for a Beck’s Futures Award and who also has work in the British Art Show 5 opening in Edinburgh this month, is internationally renowned for the way in which she alters the scale of familiar objects to give them unexpected and often uncanny new meanings. In this case, however, there is no need for expansion or contraction; the invasion of a domestic space is transformative enough.
o “Don’t worry”, works by Martin Creed, Ori Gersht, Brian Cyril Griffiths, Perminar Kaur, Elizabeth LeMoine, Simon Lewandowski, Kaffe Matthews, David Shrigley at the Chelsea and Westminster Hospital, 369 Fulham Road, SW10 9NH (until 26 May)
o “Honey, I parked the van in the living room!” at home 3, 1A Flodden Road, London SE5 9LL, % +44 (0)171 274 3452
Originally appeared in The Art Newspaper as ‘Tate Modern brasses off'