Wednesday, 5 March 2014

Ruin Lust - Tate Britain

Jane and Louise Wilson, Azeville, 2006
Ruin Lust is at Tate Britain until 18 May 2014.
What a great subject for an exhibition; and a good title, too - it comes from the German coinage 'Ruinenlust'. The exhibition surveys artists' fascination with ruins from the seventeenth century to the present. The list of works exhibited suggests an enticingly eclectic and idiosyncratic approach including, amongst others, works by Turner, John Martin, Gustave Doré, John Latham, Jane and Louise Wilson and Rachel Whiteread. Highlights include:
- Joseph Gandy's drawing, commissioned by John Soane, showing the architect's new Bank of England building as it might look in the future as a ruin!  
- Tacita Dean's 2006 film Kodak (a 16mm film documenting the ending of production of 16mm film at the Kodak factory in Chalon-sur-Saône)
- Gerard Byrne's 1984 and Beyond (2005-7) - a filmed restaging of a a discussion between 12 science fiction writers, including Arthur C. Clarke and Isaac Asimov, about their visions of the future, originally published by Playboy in the 1963 (see also below).
Watch a short Tate video featuring a reading extracted from Rose Macaulay's Pleasure of Ruins.
Read reviews by Laura Cumming, Alastair Sooke and Jonathan Jones an essay by the exhibition curator Brian Dillon, and an article by Frances Stonor Saunders.
J.M.W. Turner, Tintern Abbey: The Crossing and Chancel, Looking towards the East Window, 1794.
John Martin, The Destruction of Pompei and Herculaneum, 1822
Joseph Gandy, John Soane's Bank of England as a Ruin, 1830
Paul Nash, Swanage (Steps in a Field), c1936
Jon Savage, Uninhabited London, 1977

Leon Kossof, Demolition of the Old House, Dalston Junction, Summer 1974, 1974
Rachel Whiteread, B: Clapton Park Estate, Mandeville Street, London E5; Bakewell Court; Repton Court; March 1995. (From Demolished)
Gerard Byrne, from 1984 and Beyond, 2005–7

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