Dystopian vision of future at UK's Tate Modern

Mon Oct 13, 2008 11:45am EDT
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By Golnar Motevalli

LONDON (Reuters Life!) - One of Britain's largest art galleries has been transformed into an emergency shelter, with 200 bed frames forming part of French artist Dominique Gonzalez-Foerster's dystopian vision of disaster in 2058.

The giant installation in the cavernous Turbine Hall at the Tate Modern museum in London was inspired by the idea of the city under attack as well as climate change and science fiction literature.

Gonzalez-Foerster, who was born in 1965, filled the hall with 200 yellow and blue steel bunk beds, without their mattresses.

A book, one of 20 specially chosen titles in literature, was placed on each bed while a film consisting of clips from 30 different movies including Gonzalez's own work played on a giant LCD screen at one end of the space.

"It's a turbulence, so it's like fasten your seatbelts!" Gonzalez-Foerster said at a press preview of the work entitled "TH.2058" on Monday, adding that past crises and conflicts informed her ideas about how spaces are used by people.

"I'm not a Second World War child, but history is part of the project. The more I was working on it and the more 2058 became a period the more I was looking back to 1958."

Gonzalez-Foerster said she was inspired by images of Blitz-hit London during World War Two and the need for people to take shelter from rain or ecological disaster.

She acknowledged that while her project started before the credit crunch took hold, her work contained parallels with the global financial crisis.   Continued...

<p>Visitors to Tate Modern look at an installation by Dominique Gonzalez-Foerster entitled "TH.2058" in London October 13, 2008. French artist Gonzalez-Foerster has included two hundred bed frames and a giant spider sculpture based on a work by Louise Bourgeois in her giant installation entitled "TH.2058" which fills the cavernous Turbine Hall at London's Tate Modern museum. REUTERS/Suzanne Plunkett</p>