May 16th, 2003


Tate Modern...

The hugeness of it! I'd never really imagined how feckin' big it really is. I'd intended to see the Max Beckmann exhibit. (D'Oh! It finished May 5th...)There is, of course, no excuse at all, for never having been there, ever, in the three years it's been open. Actually, I may go again, next week, it's so cool.
I got on the escalator to the first level. (Bad, bad idea... It seemed to take about ten minutes while I panic-attacked and vertigoed away, cravenly.) Never again; continued via lift.
I spent some time with the 'Five Angels for the Millennium'. Bill Viola is one of the few film/installation people who really provide that frisson of the numinous that I require. I always like his stuff. There was also an amazing film by Jean Vigo of a carnival in Nice in the 20's; really macabre. I loved it.Must admit to being mesmerised by Paul McCarthy's "Rocky" as well. naked bloke in bizarre, Popeye-like mask brutally batters himself, smears ketchup on torso, etc. According to the 'storyboard' it all ends in a 'money shot', but instead it just seemed to be going on eternally.
There was a tour group going around. Everyone had a wee folding chair, (-wish I had one to take to the French Institute tomorrow, to avoid the Iron Maiden effect of their weeny armchairs on my mammoth carcass-)and this woman proceeded to talk such astonishing bollocksy drivel about Picasso's 'Weeping Woman' that I was embarrassed to be overhearing it. After that, she and her group seemed to home in on virtually everything I was looking at, which got a bit tiresome. It was generally surprisingly 'crowded', though, for a weekday morning. In the end, I'd 'done' so much, just on the fifth level, that I was braindrained, and decided it's the kind of place that really can't be properly seen in one day. I then had a good look at the shop (irresistible) and came out eight quid lighter (I just must not do this sort of thing...)with a poster and some cards.
Gosh, I'm quite weary, now. It's so COLOSSAL. Sure is ugly from the outside, though.
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