Power Station for Art vs. Art for Power Station
Liebchen, Jens, Art Journal
Like ants, visitors amble across a gigantic hall, cross under an iron insect, are carried up on escalators, move through halls and small rooms, and finally arrive at a glass-encased body, from which a grandiose vista offers itself.
Tate Modern-London. A former power station on the south bank of the Thames, originally designed by Sir Giles Gilbert Scott, the architect of the cathedral of Liverpool, which was at the time of its inauguration in the early 1960s an architectural as well as a technological anachronism. Freed from its original purpose in 1981, the gigantic brick structure stood abandoned in the center of London, across from St. Paul's Cathedral, and was finally chosen as a building suitable to house the Collection of International Modernity of the Tate Gallery. After reconstruction by the Swiss architects Herzog and de Meuron, Tate Modern opened in May 2ooo and offers a total area of 34,000 square meters space for art, of which 14,ooo are reserved for the collection. Here, a museum has been created whose true attraction is the building itself.
When visitors enter the museum through the main entrance located to the west, they find themselves in a breathtaking hall-the Turbine Hall-the core of the museum. At the moment, installations by the French American artist Louise Bourgeois are shown there: a gigantic bronze spider as well as three towers with spiral staircases and mirrors, which could not have found a more appropriate space in any other museum. Despite the impressive size of the objects, they are almost dwarfed by the very size of the room. …