As a whole, Tate Britain’s Migrations exhibition, running until August 2012, wasn’t all that inspiring. However, there were some gems.
The curation was confusing. A jumble of styles crowded against each other and we were left confused with what the exhibition was trying to achieve. Ok, so there are many different styles in the UK, thanks to Migration. But we kind of knew that from all the variety of shows we’ve seen. It was trying to do too much. There were some interesting images, such as the ones I’ve chosen here. There were a couple of other parallels drawn between paintings as well as the two next to each other in the poster, but not many.
Zineb Sedira’s Floating Coffins was my favourite part. This was an installation in a largeish dark narrow room, with many screens against one wall, on at different times and places irreguarly. Speakers hanged from the ceiling at different heights playing different sounds. The screens showed a ship on a shore, and the sea. Speakers close to the screens played sounds of the sea. Speakers the other side of the room played sounds of the men on the screen talking and fixing the boat. The result was a built soundscape – moving around the room, you can choose to fix your attentions on a particular concentration of sounds and look at certain screens. This was cleverly done but unappreciated, since the inscription on the wall didn’t mention the soundscape, and most people just saw the slow moving films on the wall and moved on.