Sunday, December 25, 2016

Expose Yourself to Art and See What Happens

by Drew Martin
New Tate Modern: Switched On is a slick and upbeat BBC Documentary from 2016 about the Tate Modern, which draws more than five million visitors each year. It is a behind the scenes look at the new Switch House (a ten-story twisted ziggurat) and is hosted by Scottish journalist Andrew Marr and BBC arts, culture, and entertainment correspondent Brenda Emmanus. In a rendezvous introduction, Marr and Emmanus approach the museum from river and street; old and new entrances. Marr dramatically sets the stage while cruising down the Thames,

In the year 2000 a building reopened on the south bank of the Thames, which created a kind of buzz around the world, and may have changed the way we in Britain think about the art of our own times. It certainly became one of the most visited places in Britain. And some people think it turned dirty, commercial old London into the most cultural, vibrant city on the planet. It was, of course, the old bankside powerstation; better known today as Tate Modern.

Brenda Emmanus continues the duet,

And now, Herzog & de Meuron, the architect behind this powerhouse of modern and contemporary art have added a new extension: the Switch House, which promises to electrify our understanding of culture and our place in it all over again. 

When Marr asks British sculptor Anthony Gormley during a tour of the galleries what he would say to people who might find contemporary art off-putting, Gormley responds,

Don't let your prejudices win. Expose yourself to art and see what happens.