Then you see it: a body of mist, like a captured cloud, fills the terrace outside, veiling St Paul’s, changing people to silhouettes, turning itself inside out. As you walk through, amorphous shapes turn out to be people, or buildings you know well. You are half blind, and the banks and bridges of the Thames are made ghostly – a notion particularly sore just one day after the Houses of Parliament were attacked.
And then it leaves, instantly, leaving wet paving stones and a few black nozzles.
Fujiko Nakaya’s fog 'sculpture' is one of hundreds of elements that make up Tate Modern’s byzantine new exhibition, Ten Days Six Nights, which is dedicated to performance, film and installation. Her piece does exactly what performance art is meant to do: it is immediate and it is ephemeral, it shifts, it insists that your body is part of its world; that you are a participant.
This dizzying festival of an exhibition is the perfect primer for anyone who’s turned their nose up at performance art. Mainly taking place in the industrial subterranean splendour of the Tate Tanks, this show is unprecedented. It is a 10-day season of live events and experiences.
There are four newly-commissioned installations that will be permanent throughout. We have Nakaya's smogscape, but also Isabel Lewis hating a dinner party, Mumbai-based CAMP exploring surveillance culture with a series of videos, and – by far our favourite – Fred Moten & Wu Tsang, who created an environment out of rope chandeliers, which you walk through like a woven forest.
But these works are merely stage sets. The exhibition houses a dizzying array of events, from a conceptual nightclub to Noah's Ark-style pilgrimages, talks, workshops, dancing. It's free to attend in the day, though evening performances are ticketed.
The very nature of Ten Days Six Nights requires that it's unpredictable. But this show is a testament to the inclusiveness of London's contemporary art scene. And in our Instagrammed world, it proves that we can never really capture a moment, unless we see, hear, smell, taste and touch it.
|What||We review Tate Live Exhibition: Ten Days Six Nights|
Bankside, London, SE1 9TG | MAP
|Nearest tube||London Bridge (underground)|
24 Mar 17 – 02 Apr 17, Sunday to Thursday 10.00-18.00 Friday to Saturday 10.00-22.00
|Website||Click here for more information|