Hot off the Canvas: ‘Empty Lot’ at Tate Modern’s Turbine Hall – Part I

Tate Modern’s Turbine Hall Series (or formally known as the Unilever Series) is home to modern arts most prized installations, and it’s latest series ‘Empty Lot’ is no exception.

The piece currently gracing the hall is constructed of large triangular grid of wooden planters, raised on scaffolding on multiple levels with a lit surround – a study by Abraham Cruzvillegas into the theory of the ‘unpredictable’.

Each planter is filled with soil gathered from many parks across London either containing or not containing natural elements that may grown. This idea is with using the surrounding effects of heat, space, light, composition, shape and potential audience input will determine if anything grows as to what nature intended.

unilever turbine hall empty lot michelle siddall review 4

Although past works for the Turbine Hall have been pieces that shock including Ai Wei Wei’s sunflower seeds and the iconic giant spider ‘Maman’ by Louise Bourgeois, totally consuming and stopping viewers in their tracks, Empty lot is a little off the beaten track – with improvisation, experimentation, patience and curiosity playing the largest part in determining audience feeling, which could prove to be a little Marmite. Nonetheless I think it will be exciting to see during the series 6 month duration (to be covered in part II) if any further life appears.

Want to see this exhibition? Click here for more details.

Words: Michelle Siddall from Thoughts of a Shell
Images: Michelle Siddall