Sunday 21 October 2018

Danish trio Superflex open swing-based installation in Tate’s Turbine Hall

The Danish trio say the concept of their latest work could influence the movement of the whole planet.

Tate Modern SUPERFLEX unveiling
Tate Modern SUPERFLEX unveiling

By Francesca Gosling

Danish artists Superflex have kicked off a mission to build three-seater swings across London spaces as an extension to their new installation at the Tate Modern’s famous Turbine Hall.

Aptly titled One Two Three Swing! the exhibition is made of a series of swings connected by an orange one-pole network that influences the movement of a giant pendulum suspended over the entrance ramp.

The pole structure already extends outside the walls of the London museum and will be followed in the coming months by a number of usable swings set up in outdoor spaces around the city.

Tate Modern SUPERFLEX unveiling

Jakob Fenger, of the Superflex trio, told the Press Association: “It’s very simple: the world is full of single swings, and with a three-swinger you can have the joy and feel the movement together with somebody else.”

The group, who have worked together for 25 years, described the installation as a “forest-like landscape” and said that the concept behind it could even influence the movement of planet Earth.

Rasmus Nielsen explained: “What a swing does, besides give you that tickling feeling in your stomach, is produce gravity, so to speak.

“If the orange line continues in an infinite way and a lot of people swing, it will influence the trajectory of the planet. That you can measure by the big pendulum at the end, which is influenced by how the planet moves.”

Tate Modern SUPERFLEX unveiling

Fenger added that if enough people begin “swinging all together”, it could change the way the planet spins on its own axis – but admitted that the group have not yet calculated how many people that would require.

The group’s comments came as they unveiled the work, a Hyundai Commission for 2017, on Monday. It will be open to the public from Tuesday until April 2 next year.

Also celebrating third member Bjornstjerne Christiansen’s birthday on Monday, Nielsen joked: “After we got over that we welcomed (the chance to exhibit in the Turbine Hall).

“The setting here, which is technically a designated street, fits the way we work. It’s kind of in between the inside and the outside of the museum, which in many ways is where we are, mentally, physically, ideologically, financially.”

Tate Modern SUPERFLEX unveiling

Christiansen added: “It’s a perfect match. We like to challenge every structure, every system.

“The Turbine Hall itself is a phenomenal setting and a phenomenal institution.

“Of course it is challenging to work here, and we have challenged the institution itself by going beyond (the walls)… but that’s only a good thing.”

Describing the whole concept as “accessible and playful” for visitors, Donald Hyslop, the Tate’s head of regeneration and community, said: “This is one of the most unique commissions in the world.

“Since we opened the new part of the Tate Modern last year we wanted to try something a bit different and more ambitious, which was not just to do a work within the Turbine Hall but to break out into the city and really express the commitment we have to work in the museum and in the city.

“More of the swings will appear over the next few months and maybe in a year you will see one in Seoul or Rotterdam.”

Press Association

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