The Squash, Anthea Hamilton


The Squash (22 March 2018 – 7 October 2018), Anthea Hamilton

For a duration of more than six months, from March 2018 until October, the floor of the Duveen Galeries at Tate Britain is recovered with white square shaped tiles, separated/glued together with black tiling joins, creating a grid all over the surface. The feeling when first entering this space is unexpected. If the viewer has already been to the Tate Britain, he will be surprised by this new flooring, and probably at first wonder : ‘’It did not look like this last time I was here, did it?’’ If the viewer is new to this gallery, he would probably be thinking that there is an odd mix between this cold and regular, cheap flooring, and the classic architecture of this space. What is intriguing with this installation, is that even if it doesn’t feel right, it still perfectly fits in between the walls of the gallery as the tiles are sized in order to, and it also takes part in the scenography of the space. Cubic blocks are rising up from the surface every now and there, also covered with tiles and creating different shapes of different heights. Some become chairs or benches, some others are pedestals on which bronze sculptures are showcased.

But the most intriguing in this space, is the presence of a man dressed as a squash. He is evolving in this surrounding that has been created for him, as his stage, where he is free to do whatever he wants. The idea for this performance, called The Squash, comes from a photograph that the artist, Anthea Hamilton, once saw in a book, where a man dressed as a squash was posing. Anthea Hamilton explores through her work the composition of surrealistic scenes, often by displaying a performance in a certain environment. She’s referring a lot to the history of arts thanks to sculptures, videos and installations, where the viewer is included in the composition.


Pelagos (1946), Barabara Hepworth

Pelagos (1946) is a sculpture by the artist Barbara Hepworth, used, as most of her artwork, as a communication tool. Here, the sculpture is inspired by shells, and is designed as an organic abstraction of the surrounding environment. It also depicts the the abstract idea of a space within a space.