Last Chance To See: Cildo Meireles

By paulcox Last edited 112 months ago
Last Chance To See: Cildo Meireles

The Tate Modern didn't give Cildo Meireles quite the same star treatment as Rothko across the hall, but for our money this show does a better job of filling an afternoon. It's a very Tate Modern sort of exhibition — engaging, participatory, big on concept — so if you have a fondness for Bankside in general and are already bored with TH.2058 after the first visit, you really ought to catch this one before it ends on Sunday.

Meireles is an old-guard conceptual artist, starting off in the 1960s with the legacy of the uniquely Brazilian Neo-concretist movement. Participation is key, so you should expect every one of his works to be either infiltrating the outside world or inviting visitors to step into its own. Unlike much conceptual art, he aims for the senses as much as the mind, giving him a chance to win over even the sort of people who balk at Turner Prize entries. Beyond the heavy political themes that drive much of the art — indigenous identity, globalisation, the missionary legacy in Brazil — the works presented here are just plain amazing to experience.

It's the moments of discovery that really make the show, so we don't want to give away too much, but you should expect: a fireman's bachelor pad; a walk on broken glass and through a foot of talcum powder; £300,000 in pennies; and a vastly meaningful wooden sculpture so overlooked it would make Slinkachu proud. You can find out the rest for yourself.

Cildo Meireles's works are on exhibition at the Tate Modern until Sunday 11 January. Tickets are £7.80/£5.90 concs. Photo courtesy of Yish under a Creative Commons license.

Last Updated 06 January 2009


I was really pleasantly surprised by this exhibition - I went in with zero expectations, but it was great - it really is a *must* see exhibit.

Top Tip: Some parts of the exhibition have a limited capacity (4-6 people at a time) so you may find yourself queueing - so try and go midweek and avoid Saturday and Sunday afternoons if you can!


"The Tate Modern didn't give Cildo Meireles quite the same star treatment as Rothko across the hall,"

The TM is in thrall to celebretism and is interested mainly in "fashionable" artists, the ones guaranteed to pack in crowds of slathering idiots who want the cachet of art without having to bother thinking about it. They'll always pimp the shows dedicated to showponies like Rothko, or the similarly fawned-over Gilbert & George, while the likes of Meireles, or Juan Munoz last year, which few people seemed to know about, get no such promotion.

Tom Williams

I couldn't agree more; this is an excellent show. Despite the relative lack of promotion, I think this exhibition is a good example of what the Tate does best - presenting high concept art in friendly and accessible ways


This sounds ace. Can I ask a dumbo question? How do I pronounce Cildo Meireles, so I don't make a tit of myself at the ticket kiosk?


I went today, and I concur that some of these installations are really very good. Although I'm still coughing up talcum powder from the final one.

M@ - just ask for 'Meireles tickets', and avoid the embarrassment of taking Dean's advice...