24 January 2012

London view

Looking across the Thames to St Pauls, from Tate Modern - through a plantation of birch trees. Round about dusk, of a winter's evening.

I had a look at the Artist's Room with pieces by Joseph Beuys, including his huge bolt of lightning, and on the way to the cafeteria found another room with "Objects of War" - some vitrines and some tv screens, on which people were telling the stories of the objects, with English subtitles. This is by Lebanese artist Lamia Joreige. Headphones are provided so you connect with the person through their voice, but I merely stood watching and reading till the particular story ended - how the young woman's identity card lost one of its pages. The words - translation - are out of synch with the speech, but gave a different fascination to watching her tell her story about this object that is important to her - but is now in a museum. She told about coming face to face with Israeli soldiers for the first time, and about her friend searching the mutilated bodies of other soldiers to find their identity cards, so that the families could at least know for certain about those men. It ended up being quite a "heavy" afternoon in terms of looking/thinking, so taking a landscape photo was a bit of light relief!

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