Art: It's a Walk in the Playground

Kate Luxton discusses the value of the new exhibition in the Turbine Hall.

Kate Luxton
16th October 2017

What makes art ‘art’? A question the arty world has posed since Duchamp exhibited a urinal in a New York City art gallery. A more current example is ‘when does a playground for adults stop being a playground and become an insightful and meaningful interactive art installation?’

You would be forgiven for finding it slightly ridiculous that twenty-two three-person swings, a multicoloured stripy carpet and a giant mirrored pendulum could genuinely “challenges society’s apathy towards the political, environmental and economic crises of our age”. Nevertheless, this the concept which has been envisioned and constructed by the Danish trio SUPERFLEX.

Giant orbs of sunlight suspended from the ceiling and winding helter-skelters which jettison visitors from the second-floor have all occupied the 35,000 square-feet space.

This installation is part of a legacy of artists which have taken on the challenge of the vast industrial space of the Turbine Hall. Giant orbs of sunlight suspended from the ceiling and winding helter-skelters which jettison visitors from the second-floor have all occupied the 35,000 square-feet space. The interactive element of this installation blurs the criteria for what constitutes art whilst also making the world of galleries more accessible, as well as simply fun.

The interactive element of this installation blurs the criteria for what constitutes art whilst also making the world of galleries more accessible, as well as simply fun.

With every installation that passes through the Turbine Hall passes a unique artist with unique intentions. However, the space makes certain universal demands of both artists and artwork, creating a unique environment. The viewer is compelled to experience the dimensions of the artists’ creation first-hand, as the physical presence of the installation is inescapable. Viewers will almost certainly encounter other people and - much like a playground - have to cooperate with others as they mediate this communal space.

The difference between the friendly primary colours and geometrical shapes of ‘One Two Three Swing!’ and the playground 10 minutes down the road is that it makes ‘art’ approachable to those who find the art museum environment intimidating and alien. By inviting viewers into this liminal space which is neither outside or inside, gallery or playground, the playing field is levelled between the experienced art critic and a five-year-old child, the only requirement is participation.

‘One Two Three Swing!’ does not have to have some intellectually challenging purpose and perhaps that is entirely the point. There is a freedom in this child-like environment which is often denied to the adult population. Whilst the enjoyment drawn from visiting ‘One Two Three Swing!’ may seem superficial and fleeting, its absence of intention creates a void for you to create your own meaning from this visceral experience, rather than its value being determined by a prescribed understanding of the artists’ ideas and intentions.

Although it probably will not change the world, it draws in a new audience with its universal appeal and familiarity

This is what is valuable about installations like this one. Although it probably will not change the world, it draws in a new audience with its universal appeal and familiarity, because at the end of the day, who would say no to a giant pendulum, a three-person swing and fluffy striped carpet?

(Visited 3 times, 1 visits today)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

ReLated Articles
magnifiercross
linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram
Copy link
Powered by Social Snap