Monday 20th November 2006 by C. Freeman
Year 11 students got more than they bargained for on a visit to Tate Modern with a brief encounter with the Queen en route! HRH was being chauffeured in an official Bentley flanked by police outriders when she passed within feet of the coach carrying the Brooke Weston students. There was more excitement in store as students also got a chance to sample the steel and perspex slides which dominate the massive turbine hall. The aim of sculptor, Carsten Holler was to let people engage physically with his structures and by sliding down the spectator actually becomes part of the artwork.
Other delights included the best of modern painting and sculpture with works by luminaries such as Dali, Mondrian, Barbara Hepworth and Kandinsky.
Students enjoyed the view from the Tate's cafe bar.
Photography students also visited the first UK retrospective of Swiss artists, Peter Fischli and David Weiss who have collaborated in many media including photography, sculpture and moving images. Their striking 'Questions' involved hundreds of random questions in many languages being projected onto a stark black wall. All that could be heard was the clicking of the automatic slide projectors as they cycled through an endless variety of questions such as: 'Is there too much of a good thing?' and 'What does my soul do while I'm at work.' The visit was timed so students could get some inspiration for starting points for their mock exam work and it would give many an insight into what is current in the world of modern art.
The joy of visiting a modern gallery is that it provokes debate over what constitutes art. The students were given plenty of issues to debate after seeing works such plain canvases painted completely black and Fischli and Weiss's sculpture which consisted of a mini whirlpool with a clear plastic cup revolving in it – pure genius or the emperor's new clothes – it's all a matter of interpretation!