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Modern art OR just rubbish?
Tate Modern (London)
Member Name: David A. Brett
Tate Modern (London)
Date: 14/10/03, updated on 14/10/03 (184 review reads)
Advantages: Free, Somewhere to spend an afternoon, Disabled access
Disadvantages: Some Displays
I?m not the type of person who is usually attracted to art museums, but as we spied the single word that changed my mind ? ?FREE? the decision was made to go and see it on the way back.
After seeing Mr Blane in his Perspex box now hanging away from the Thames, surrounded by a fence with TV cameras from SKY TV.
Walking back along the Thames, we hit the same sights we had viewed on the way up, and soon find the huge inflatable model ? which indicated our chance for a cup of tea and well earned rest for my wife who?d been pushing me in my wheelchair.
A little about the Tate modern building: The building is an old power station which was designed by Giles Gilbert who also designed the Liverpool Anglican cathedral and the humble red telephone box. The central tower is some 325 feet tall, which is shorter than St Paul?s dome ? opposite. You can get from the Tate modern to St Paul?s by the millennium bridge. My own opinion: it was black floor tiled with lighter; with the added height on each floor it gave the feeling of space. One side of the building had windows leading to vies of the Thames and St Paul?s, while the other side was blackened out living the building slightly dull.
As I have said entry was FREE, though they do like you to pay a £2 donation.
Of the seven floors only five are taken up with art and exhibitions, the other is for members only and the top floor is a café/restaurant.
Each floor has its own displays, though I was particularly drawn to the level five ? Nudes. I imagined all sorts of nude ladies in variou
s poses, like a school boy reading his first dirty magazine. Finally there they were ? Victorian paintings of naked ladies, Sculptures of what I assume were people intertwined, and some strange images on several TV?s. One showed a man naked hitting himself with the boxing gloves on his hands, while he jumped up and down showing his bouncing manhood. Another saw a fat man (no not me honest) just standing naked on the side so we could spy his rather large tummy. Two more TVs were taken up by a man and a woman (separate) shouting.
There is several little ?cinema? type areas where you can sit and be entertained for example ? a woman cutting up and eating a sausage, or an oriental lady holding a crystal ball and moving around.
Nudes done, we visited the other floors of this large building. Each had a floor of entertainment (if that?s what it can be called). A picture of two coloured boxes, another with paint splashed on a piece of canvas, and even more boxes.
In need of a rest we headed for the top floor, in need of the well earned cuppa tea. Feeling peckish (our meal at the Royal festival hall was far from filling or enjoying) we both chose a portion of chips. I had a cup of tea, while my shattered wife opted for what we thought we a small bottle of chardonnay. In reality the price had been for a glass.
Prices were extremely expensive though the chips were piping hot and everything was clean. You did get a nice panoramic view from the window of St Paul?s etc which is directly opposite the Tate modern. However when I think of what I paid: £2.50 per breakfast bowl of chips, £5.20 for a GLASS of wine and £1.80 for a cup of tea, I am sure it was a rip off even by London standards.
What did I think?
Overall I was glad I visited the Tate Modern ? it was an experience, however knowing what I know now I certainly would not have paid an entrance fee. Most of the displays could have been done by a child, or even dogs come to
that! I had a real problem with the fact that they were paying money to display this load of rubbish here. I was certainly ripped off in the café and now know not to go there again. Don?t get me wrong some of the displays were excellent, and some real effort had obviously gone into them-that?s art isn?t it?
You are not allowed to eat, drink, smoke, take photographs, or use mobile phones in the T M. Membership of T M is £61 for you and a guest for which you get some extra benefits like free subscription to Tate magazine, and access to member areas.
Disabled access is generally very good in the T M. I had absolutely no problems getting around. There are lifts to every floor, along with escalators for the more able bodied. The café at the top floor is also accessible (though maybe not pricewise)
Recommend or not?
While it is free I would highly recommend you pay a visit, it?s an afternoon spent for nothing, though I would certainly advise you give the café a miss!
Thanks for reading ? Dave
Open: Sun-Thurs 10.00-18.00
Fri& Sat 10.00 ? 21.30
Tate modern is located on Bankside SE1
Tel: 020 7887 8000
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