LONDON (Reuters) - Visitors to London’s Tate Modern gallery this Summer may find themselves holding a conversation with a complete stranger in a cavernous hall as part of a piece of art.
They could perhaps be invited to listen to someone’s holiday experiences or be encouraged to join in a running or singing game.
By doing so, the visitors will become part of the gallery’s live art exhibition “These Associations” by British-German artist Tino Sehgal.
The exhibition, which runs until October 28, is part of the Unilever Series hosted at the Tate Modern each year which has seen artists like Olafur Eliasson, Rachel Whiteread and Carsten Höller create huge pieces of art that have filled the Turbine Hall and drawn millions of visitors to the gallery each year.
Sehgal said the idea for this work was influenced by the vast space at the Tate Modern and the idea of being an individual in a collective.
“It’s a place that is made for visitors or audiences to gather which is very unusual, for a museum space,” he told Reuters.
“Normally, you’re supposed to not gather but walk around and look at the art politely.”
The 70 or so participants engage in a variety of sequences to create movement, sound and conversation including singing, or running full speed down the hall, as well as speaking to the public.
Curator Jessica Morgan said the public response has been positive so far.
“I think they are completely fascinated,” she said. “I think many people come to the Tate, expecting this type of experience. They’re looking for an encounter that perhaps is quite different to the encounter that they might have at the National Gallery.”
“Many people are joining in ... there’s quite a movement around the space and many of the people who encounter it are completely taken over with this type of almost ‘ebb and flow’ in the gallery space and join in.”
The commission follows the Tate Modern’s opening of its first dedicated space to live art and installations, The Tanks, which it hopes will allow the gallery to expand its programming.
Reporting by Li-mei Hoang; editing by Steve Addison