I was meant to visit the Vincent Van Gogh Exhibition but there was at least a two hour wait, so I took the opportunity to visit two free exhibitions – Mike Nelson, The Asset Strippers (18 Mar – 6 Oct) and Joanna Piotrowska: All our False Devices, (8 Mar – 9 June), both of which I enjoyed but for sheer scale and a feeling of nostalgia for a lost world The Asset Strippers was brilliant and as of a result I learnt that the main hall of the Tate Britain is named the Duveen Galleries. First opened in 1937 for sculpture and subsequently every year an artist is invited to interpret the space.
Below is my log of the visit, click on the image to enlarge;
Joanna Piotrowska: All Our False Devices was an altogether smaller exhibition and although initially it looked quite calm, sparse and simple with mainly black & white photographs and films running 16mm films of hands copying self-defense moves, from the forearms to hands only, on closer inspection had some really interesting concepts. With regard to the 16mm film footage it is a subtle nod to violence against women and the images of grown-ups having made tents were not only reminiscent of childhood tents but also telling with what makes us feel safe. Finally, the women in confined spaces such as the photograph of the girl on the stairs is a look at domestic spaces, man-made spaces and the relationships with the patriarchy.