Experiencing live art.


I recently experienced some live art when visiting the Tate Modern, it was a very new experience to say the least but was most intriguing. The exhibitions ranged from sound and light to innovative and freely moving art contributed voluntarily by the public who wished to get involved.

These are the two particular pieces of live art that drew me in.

Lis Rhodes: Light Music  –  lis-rhodes-light-music

‘A major figure in the history of artists’ filmmaking in Britain and was a leading member of the influential London Filmmakers’ Co-op.’

This is the exhibition I wanted to see the most, and in my eyes it didn’t disappoint. The room was beautifully smoky with a projector set up either side and seats around the edge to sit and watch. The projectors projected bars of different sizes either side and the space between  them allowed for people to walk, admire, dance, or play with the shadows they created on the wall projection. The projections that are shown are synced with music made for the projection, it’s quite high pitched and invites you to play. This more than any other brought the theme of spectacle to mind as I watched people play with their shadows projected and others who looked on watch and listening in perfect peace, I myself would have played around and probably pretended to be a ballerina had I been in that room alone. Art can be simple and fantastic at the same time so long as it has the power to invite people and intrigue them at the same time, capturing their minds just for a moment.

The Tanks Summer School: Summer Evenings - Performative Exercises with Five Years, Lis Rhodes, 'Light Music' 1975 4, photo: Tate Photography, 2009

Haegue Yang: Dress Vehicles  –  haegue-yang-dress-vehicles

‘Works with everyday materials, often domestic ones, to create colourful installations that frequently combine industrial materials with sensory effects using light and scent. ‘

Dress Vehicles drew me in straight away as it had visitors participating left right and centre. The two people operating these magnificent structures move them freely according to how they respond to the drums and noise created through the microphone, in which visitors can play, sing, talk etc. When I came to the exhibition there was a group of school children some playing on the drums and others around the microphone, and the great thing was, was that it wasn’t any old messing around, they were actually taking the time to be creative. The boy on the drums playing an actual beat and those around the microphone wrapping and beat boxing, these children may not know it but they were compelled to do so by the art, as it is powerful for any human to see something happening as a result of them. Having an exhibition that allows you to contribute and join in empowers you, and the more you are involved or the greater the spectacle the more likely it is that it will leave create a long lasting memory!

Haegue Yang Dress Vehicle – Bulky Lacoste Birdy 2011 LIMITED  

These are the others I saw but didn’t engage with so much, however, I think had I seen the ‘crystal quilt’ evolve it would have been a different story, as for Sung Hwan Kim’s exhibition I only made it to where the video was being watched but not into the actual room where it was all about space. I think this would have been a lot more powerful for me had I been to that room.

Suzanne Lacy: The Crystal Quilt  –  suzanne-lacy-crystal-quilt

Sung Hwan Kim  –  sung-hwan-kim

There was also some kind of live performance going on downstairs when I walked in, and as I looked over the balcony at the performers I was drawn to have a closer look and so ventured down to sit amongst what was going on. I think this had the biggest impact on me thinking about all three themes, as there was a spectacle created, as these people moved around in some sort of pattern ranging from slow and spaced to fast and intimated, then to the point where it looked as if they where playing a game. It conjured up an image of a moth drawn to light or birds flying in a flock, the power of this was too much to bare as there was nothing to explain what was going on, and you had no control over anything or how close they came to you which for most was amazing to be amongst but for me was rather scary as I had no clue to what was going on. This strange experience is very memorable!


I think that if live art creates something captivating and is powerful enough to draw and hold the attention of someone and even get them involved it is true art, and it is true art that lives on in the memory of those who have been lucky enough to experience it.


About gailenepierre

Ambitious and driven but knows how to have funnnn :)

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