Saturday 11 April 2009

TH. 2058 by Dominique Gonzalez-Foerster at the Tate Modern, South Bank, central London

In the Tate Modern's vast turbine hall, the top half of a sinister black giant spider and an angular red sculpture are visible above a screen serving as the entrance to this Unilever-sponsored exhibition by Dominique Gonzalez-Foerster. A sign explains that the year is 2058 and it is raining continuously, bizarrely causing sculptures in the open air to grow. The sculptures have been brought into the turbine hall, which also houses refugees from the rain. Behind the screen, scores of blue and yellow frames of bunk beds each with a paperback book attached are arranged around the sinuous legs of the giant spider (a bigger version of the one outside the Tate Modern), the abstract red structure, the skeleton of a dinosaur, a giant apple core and other over sized replicas of sculptures by leading artists. A large screen at the back of the hall plays a weird mix of clips from sci-fi films from the Planet of Apes to Fahrenheit 451 to Mission to Mars. Set against the threat of climate change, the overall effect is both disturbing and strangely comforting if only because it suggests people will still be reading books in 2058. Surreal, but free. 7/10