Tate Blackout: not Olafur’s best work

Have you ever dreamt of visiting a museum at night and looking at the art with a flashlight? Well maybe if you are a burglar. But I imagine doing it just to see art in a new way. So I was quite happy to hear about just such an event, put together by Olafur Eliasson. Tate Blackout is free but you need to buy an Olafur Eliasson-designed little sun lamp that costs 16.50£. Expensive, though it is solar-powered and you get to keep it.

I loved his Weather Project in the Tate Modern in 2003-2004, probably my all-time favourite in the Tate Unilever Series (see picture below). However, the event was not up to his usual standards. I was disappointed to find some rooms so full of people that you hardly needed your own flashlight. A more pleasant surprise came at the end where you can make your own Sunlight Graffiti with your little sun lamp by moving it in front of a camera in a dark room. We arrived with only minutes to spare so were rushed though and couldn’t fully enjoy it. That’s a shame as there was only this one special event in the Blackout; the rest was just an after hours visit to the permanent exhibition of a museum with a crowd.

I was expecting a more novel experience and felt bad bringing my father and sister who were visiting (and had spent a long hot day exploring Richmond park) and Mr BB. Tate you can do better!



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