Tate show takes wry look at habits of collecting

Wed Jun 24, 2009 11:47am EDT
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By Julie Mollins

LONDON (Reuters Life!) - The first of seven rooms containing a new exhibition at London's Tate Britain museum is filled with the loud clackety-clack of 39 metronomes placed around its perimeter.

The racket from Martin Creed's installation, cryptically titled "Work No. 112" and created over a nine-year period between 1995 and 2004, introduces the eclecticism of "Classified," on show until August 23.

Works by 15 contemporary artists including Damien Hirst, Simon Starling, Rebecca Warren, Jake and Dinos Chapman, feature mundane objects from everyday life, with their meaning and significance reinterpreted in the gallery setting.

"It's about the order of things and how artists make sense of the world around them to accomplish that," said Clarrie Wallis, a curator of contemporary British art.

"It is about collecting and how you group things together."

Hirst's "Pharmacy," a self-contained room featuring glass-enclosed cabinets of medicine, makes a connection between the method of organizing medicine with the display of art.

"He draws links between belief systems and our relationship to medicine," Wallis said.

"There is also the sense of us trying to make sense of the world -- there's an irony about it."   Continued...