Thursday, October 12, 2006

A slippery slope for the Tate?

After 7 hours at 600 mph and from 35,000 ft across the abyss of oceanic waters from JFK to LHR, what is 15 seconds at 30 miles per hour atop 5 floors in the confines of a modern art gallery? Nothing one would presume. That is, until you indulge in this week's hype surrounding Carsten Höller's slide installation, Test Site, and hurl yourself down 56 metres worth of slide in the Tate Modern's Turbine Hall.

Fun? Yes. Frightening? But, of course. Unless your name is Alice and you enjoy the sensation of tripping down rabbit holes. Although sadly in the Tate's 'conceptualised' artistic version you won't come across a looking glass or a never-ending tea party. Nor do you wake up from the adventure underneath a tree. Rather you are flung out in front of hordes of hip pack wearing tourists smirking (at you, not with you) in disbelief over the adult playground come lobby of London's premier modern art gallery for the next six months.

But that doesn't mean we are not jealous of Miuccia Prada, yes that Prada, who has commissioned a similar slide from the same Carsten Höller's which ejects her through the window of her Milan office, past several floors of labouring minions, and straight to the street below, where her chauffeur awaits. Now that really is high fashion.

But could slides be a transport mode of the future? Or is Höller's exhibit merely satirical fun directed at the classicism that underpins the Tate Modern? No doubt the cultural pessimists are viewing this as the Tate's final folly on the slippery slope to populism.

Could this be the time to side with the kill joys?

Deslide for yourself:

Level 2 slides: Free, no ticket required
Level 3, 4 and 5 slides: Free, timed ticket required

Tickets are:
• valid only for the time period marked on the ticket
• valid for one ride on one slide
• available in the gallery on a first come, first served basis
• not available in advance

At Tate Modern until 9 April 2007

20 Comments:

Anonymous Tanya said...

First to comment waeh!!

Yes think the Tate is going downhill fast.

6:46 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

did you actually go own it city slicker? cool. i hear the queues are horrendous. isnt it on for six months?

not sure what to think yet really

6:50 pm  
Anonymous Claire said...

I dont know it all sounds like fun to me. If the Tate gets all up its own establishment ways of thinking it wont continue to attract the masses which bring in loads of ££ for London.

I say keep the slides and the fun :-)

6:59 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I guess slides could be transportation vehicles if only people didn't sweat.

7:01 pm  
Anonymous Dan said...

Holler's slides look lame. Timid.

Plus of course this work is showing in Britain. So the minute you exhibit something people can have a go on, what do they do?

Start queueing, of course.

Maybe that was Holler's whole deal. Maybe that was the idea behind the art. Make the Brits queue up like a bunch of idiots.

7:07 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow so you went on that?
Very cool not so sweaty in the slides on the first week.

Not so sure if it is art though?

7:25 pm  
Blogger Jamie said...

I reckon it's a great idea for big kids like myself :-)

7:35 pm  
Anonymous max said...

hardly alton towers is it? that said i never went on enough slides when i was six, so i'm quite excited about this. although as art goes, anish kapoor this weekend will be a lot better ...

8:48 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't reckon I have descend by websites alike this usually enough . I surely am for sure even if I came , I would not yearn to head anywhere else. - tropical fish

9:27 pm  
Blogger Steve On Broadway (SOB) said...

One wonders whether it is safe for Miuccia Prada to wear her own shoes whilst sliding down, and if so, would you call it a "shoet" rather than chute?

Incidentally, these types of slides are all the rage at waterparks throughout the heartland of America. Who would have thought they could be so trendy?

11:05 pm  
Anonymous Steve said...

I too am excited to go on adult slides but not sure the Tate is where I would have guessed I would reclaim the playground.

I suppose Prada has it right.

Can I have one for work and replace the tube?

8:15 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

To me they look like emergency slides in case there is a bombing in London.

8:17 am  
Anonymous Delia said...

Well the slides are certainly going to attract parents.
I can't wait to try the slides myself! I always think the best art is the one that returns me to some childhood thrills.
Boooo to boring conceptual art!!

8:19 am  
Anonymous Mandy said...

Do we have to go? But as I work very nearby, I'll pick up a ticket one night (they are free) for the next day. Might even put together a posse.

Anybody for freefall?

8:21 am  
Blogger Monique said...

I saw that in the paper this week. Strange about the ticketing system.
Don't tell anyone - but I kinda wanna go for a ride!

9:12 am  
Blogger China Blue said...

Is it true about Prada's slide? Please be kidding!

I'll definitely be going to the Tate and having a go on the slide. Who knows, I might even take in some art ;-)

9:34 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

See this is all I have been talking about?

People going now just for the slides.

What a joke. The Tate will pay for this.

9:53 am  
Blogger City Slicker said...

Afraid so re: Madame Prada and her office slide.

Read more here

And somebody asked if members can jump the ticketing line? Afraid not this time.

9:59 am  
Blogger Jamie said...

I just did a piece about these slides on my blog, You may enjoy my alternative view on this matter :-)

9:21 am  
Blogger Bryn said...

Probably the best thing is that this will get a whole load of people into the museum who would not otherwise be interested in Art. The timed ticket then means they will have to wait and maybe even have a look around! Go and see Fischli and Weiss - absolutely brilliant.

10:32 pm  

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