Danish collective Superflex has transformed Tate Modern’s vast Turbine Hall into a kinetic playground, complete with swingsets and a giant pendulum.
Titled One Two Three Swing!, the interactive installation features 22 swingsets hanging from orange piping that zig-zags its way across the colossal space. A striped runway – coloured in the hues of the UK’s banknotes – leads down to the swings, which will be added to over the coming months and eventually tumble out beyond the building to locations across South London.
A mirrored ball swings from a 20-metre-long rope overhead, reflecting the carpet’s candy-stripes and nodding to the building’s industrial history.
‘We’ve made sure the carpet is very thick so it is extremely comfortable, you can rest,’ said Superflex artist Rasmus Nielsen. ‘You can come here and take a nap.’
The installation is a riposte to the current political climate, with the pendulum representing political apathy, and the swings ‘an idea of movement and power by people coming together and creating an action,’ says lead curator Donald Hyslop.
Superflex (comprising artists Rasmus Nielsen, Bjørnstjerne Christiansen and Jakob Fenger) is best known for its 2009 film work, ‘Flooded McDonald’s’, in which a replica fast-food joint slowly filled with water – a commentary on global corporation and climate change.
The message of One Two Three Swing! seems more optimistic: at the end of the hall is a factory station for the assembly of additional swing seats, which will expand the collective action beyond the gallery space.
‘It could come out of the ground into a building, it could come out of the side of a pub across to a park, it could go from multi-million pound flats to a council estate,’ says Hyslop.
Superflex’s site-specific installation is the third annual Hyundai commission at Tate Modern. The group follows in the footsteps of Philippe Parreno, who turned the space into a floating fish-filled tank last year.
Past installations inside the Turbine Hall also include Ai Weiwei’s ceramic sunflower seeds and Carsten Höller’s helter-skelter slides.
‘One Two Three Swing!’ runs at the Tate Modern’s Turbine Hall from 3 October until 2 April 2018, with free admission.