April 20th, 2006

breaking bad


I went to Tate Modern with the kids yesterday. Phew. I was going to do other things too, but it exhausted us. Looking with full attention is tiring. I used to go to the old Tate a lot when I was in my twenties, so it was good to see some of my old favourites, like the Rothkos. A big change since the 1980s is that there are far more works by women artists. And - just to make it clear - no loss of quality from this inclusion. I'd say at least half of the stuff that attracted my attention was by women eg Susan Hiller and Fiona Rae (the online pic doesn't do that last one justice, it was one of the best things I saw). The major display in the Turbine Hall is by Rachel Whiteread.

The Turbine Hall, BTW, and in general the physical presence of the building, is awesome.

My daughter liked it a lot. My son didn't like it, and he became a bit frustrated at his own lack of response. I am saying - well, whatever you are feeling, that is a response - but he ended up judging himself 'I just don't get art'. I'm surprised because he likes music which is quite challenging and inaccessible, like the Fall or the Dead Kennedys. I made an analogy between that kind of music and the art we were looking at. He did understand my meaning, but it didn't help him.

On the whole though, I'm glad I put him through it, because its enriching even if it isn't always enjoyable.

We ate at the gallery cafe. Pretty expensive, but good food. I had salmon cassoulet.

I felt as if my clothes and general demeanour fit in, in a place like the Tate, whereas at work I always feel inadequate, as I struggle to adapt my style to be at least marginally acceptable. This makes me think I took a wrong career turn somewhere. Not that I should be a visual artist - completely not - but I should have been braver, to try and make money from my creativity. Still, once I had kids, my choices became somewhat restricted.