Tuesday, January 15, 2008


Some doris from Colombia has been attacking the concrete floor of the Tate Modern's turbine hall with a pneumatic drill. Why?

"For Salcedo the crack reveals a colonial and imperial history that has been disregarded...the history of racism, running parallel to the history of modernity. Digging beneath the surface, Salcedo reconnects the building to...colonial and postclassical histories, to the operations of power and the ideological creation of artificial notions of difference and otherness."

This complete bollocks aside, Salcedo's Shibboleth fault line is a strangely fascinating piece of public art experience.

V and I stared down at other people (mainly children, who probably didn't understand the full socio-cultural implications) contemplating the gouging.

We were taking advantage of our river roamer ticket before Masthouse Pier closed for ten weeks yeterday. This enabled us to spend some time at the Tate Modern before dashing across to Tate Britain, a building I hadn't visited since it housed the whole collection, pre-Millennium. We were both stopped in our tracks by the captivating luminosity of John Singer Sargeant's Carnation, Lily, Lily, Rose, pretty much the first canvas that grabs you as you wander into the historical section.

V was also fascinated by the eighteenth century contributions, noting that life was pretty awful back then because you clearly couldn't just throw on an old pair of jeans and head outdoors without a great deal of personal grooming...as we ourselves had done that Sunday morning.

Update: TC has reliably informed me that this crack in the ground cost $600,000 to produce, which is effectively twice the average price of a two-bedroomed house with a pool over in the states (though also roughly equivalent to the cost of Diputada Baldetti's new gaff in Juan Gaviota).

Another update: How many times have I heard the anchors on TVe announcing something like 'Jorsse Boos left Wassington to go fissing'. It's odd that Bush should be such a sibbolett for Iberian espanish espeakers. Western-hemisphere Latins generally don't struggle with the SH sound in English. I can't actually think of any to plague V with, but she will occasionally hit me with something like "El perro paró para comer la pera".

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