London Art Seminar: The London Eye and the Tate Modern
Monday, 4th January, 2016:
Professor got us up nice and early to walk across town and the Millenium Bridge to the South Bank, where we were to ride the London Eye.
It is the fourth largest Ferris wheel in the world, surpassed by the Star of Nanchang, the Singapore Flyer, and Las Vegas’ High Roller, respectively. The view of Canterbury Cathedral and Big Ben during a sunshower was, however, spectactular.
Tate Modern’s Turbine Hall currently features Empty Lot by Abraham Cruzvillegas. The artist built a grid of triangular planters filled with dirt from the various parks of London. Given water and light, whatever might be living inside the dirt and wish to grow is left to chance. The result is a massive structure that changes day to day as weeds sprout at random over the six month display period.
The structure is massive. I found the triangular geometry of the planters to be visually appealing, as well as the concept of hope, change, and growth as indicated by the various weeds slowly sprouting out of them.
London is very much like New York. I was surprised, in a way, to find how similar they are. I would say that the subway system (or “Tube,” as they call it) is easier to learn here. Despite the fact that we all speak English, there is a slight language barrier between the British and Americans. Encountering the British culture as an American is like meeting your Grandfather for the first time… It’s familiar, but somehow more solemn and proper. Humbling.