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[personal profile] mirrorshard
Had a wonderful time there- (thanks to Vikki, for the company) - and saw, as always, some lovely things. It's always hard to pull away from the Monet, but the lovely colour field paintings in the same room (though I'm blessed if I can remember the artist) managed it.

The one that always amuses me, though, is Carl Andre's Steel Zinc Plain (1969) [2], which I remembered to make a note of for once. It's a six-by-six chequerboard of steel and zinc floor tiles, put straight onto the gallery floor, without any fence around it or notice beside it (the Tate policy is to put the title & comment cards about six or ten feet away, so you don't get distracted from the work by them - I approve). The comment card for this one says that the artist designed it to be walked on.

On the other hand, I refuse to believe that nobody ever designed all those gorgeous, luscious bronzes not to be touched and hugged and, well, groped, frankly (can you tell I'm a bit of a bronze sculpture fan? Umberto Boccioni's Unique Forms of Continuity of Space (1913)[1] is to die for), so the curators clearly have their own opinions on the proper way to treat Art.

So, we have this piece of Art sitting, without any explanation or label for the casual viewer, on the gallery floor. Most people were carefully walking around it; one didn't seem to notice it at all, and walked straight across; and a lot of the ones who walked around didn't steer clear, but swung one foot casually over the corner of the tiles. One, a boy of about six, carefully walked up to the edge, put one foot onto the tiles, then turned around with a big grin on his face and walked neatly around them to rejoin his parents. This time, I walked around it, but when I first encountered it, I did much the same as the boy - a sort of awkward compromise between fulfilling the artist's intentions and not going out of the normal way to do so. A very British response to art I suppose.

[1] http://www.moma.org/collection/depts/paint_sculpt/blowups/paint_sculpt_012.html

[2] http://www.tate.org.uk/servlet/ViewWork?cgroupid=999999961&workid=21770&searchid=6637
So, the question!

What would YOU do?
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