In Pictures: TH.2058 At Tate Modern

Dean Nicholas
By Dean Nicholas Last edited 118 months ago
In Pictures: TH.2058 At Tate Modern
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Dominique Gonzalez-Foerster's TH.2058, the latest in the gallery's Unilever series, imagines London fifty years hence, where the "incessant rain" has refugees from the weather hiding in the Turbine Hall. The space has been filled with metal bunk-beds to accomodate the precipitation-shy, on which they can lounge and read the dystopian fiction de nos jours - Borges, Ballard, Philip K. Dick, the novels of your common or garden brooding philosophy student, are sitting on each bunk.

Our future selves are not alone though; contemporary urban sculptures keep the shivering humanoids company - a spurious excuse in the accompanying wall text suggests the rain has a "strange effect" on them - giving Gonzalez-Foerster an excuse to re-hash some past masters: Louise Bourgeois' enormous arachnid is accompanied by a Henry Moore sheep and three hanging Bruce Nauman animals, among others. Recourse to the guide reveals these to be re-created versions of the originals - with their proportions extended to some degree - prompting the question, why, exactly, go to such bother for such little effect? At the gallery's far end, a huge video installation screens clips from films that far better depicted the nightmarish future, including Alphaville and Planet of the Apes.

As with much art on this scale, the immediate impression is not always a lasting one, and the Tate, with its eclectic mix of visitors, has a crowd capable of changing perceptions - witness the day-trippers with their picnics who basked under Olafur Eliasson's Weather Project in 2004. Gonzalez-Foerster's cluttered, well-meaning yet meandering installation is one of the less imaginative uses of the hall in Tate Modern's short history.

TH.2058 is at the Tate Modern, Bankside, until 13th April 2009. Entry is free

Last Updated 14 October 2008