Marilyn Joslin Sklar

BEN & TATE

7/10/2010

 
I am still getting accustom to this blog. This is my third attempt at an entry. Somehow I deleted the past two. So, let's try this again. 

Saturday was a wonderful day: sunny, warm, and filled with interesting stuff. I toured the Benjamin Franklin House then the Tate Modern. Although we will visit the Tate Modern during the seminar, I wanted to experience it alone so I could wander and linger. 

The Benjamin Franklin House is very unique. It turns out that its interpretation is a grand case study for my internship at Tovrea Castle, which will be interpreted with a heavy docent tour, few artifacts, few period furnishings, but some text panels. The tour at the Franklin House is a well-crafted combination of theatre and living history. After a brief introductory clip about Franklin's achievements, a docent in costume dress takes you through rooms. Franklin's life and the time period comes to life with the docent's narrative woven with digital graphics and sound. Each room has few furnishings, but the spaces suddenly are filled with people and life as you listen to recorded conversations, in which the docent will often participate. It may seem odd, but it works. It really does. I recommend the tour to anyone who is in London. It takes about 45 minutes and only costs 7 pounds. 

The photos below are of exteriors of the Benjamin Franklin House, some exhibit cases in the reception area, an interior hall shot, and a shot of the purse Franklin carried while living in London.
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TATE MODERN

The Tate Modern sits along the Thames in an old warehouse, I believe. I had such fun wandering through the neighborhood of old brick buildings with pubs tucked into alleys or on street corners. There is a lot of construction in this part of the city as you will see. 

Anyway, I came to the Tate Modern to visit the exhibit "Exposed: Voyeurism, Surveillance, and the Camera". It is about the role the camera and photographers have  played in our lives since its invention. How intrusive are cameras? Do people have the right to be photographed by anyone? What about on the street? How beneficial are surveillance cameras? They have helped us solve crimes, but do we really need them? The exhibit addresses these questions and more in a very provocative way. I left pondering about my love of photography and the subjects I choose. Sometimes I shoot people on the street as I did in the park when I first arrived. Were those shots voyeurism? Did I have the right to intrude upon their private moments with my lens....without their knowledge? If I had requested permission from all of them, the moments of real life would be lost. Everything would have been posed. Makes you ponder, doesn't it? 

Along with this ticketed exhibit, I explored some of their permanent collections. I found it interesting that one small gallery had an Anish Kapoor with a Francis Bacon. It worked..sort of. I am a fan of Kapoor's work but not so much Bacon's pieces. Kapoor's work is sensual, while Bacon's paintings are haunting. Works at two ends of the spectrum, in my opinion.

I hope you enjoy the photos from the Tate...along with some views of the surrounding area shot from a balcony off a cafe area. Thanks for checking in today. See you tomorrow!
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Outside "Exposed" exhibit. People watching surveillance cameras which are watching people in galleries. Would you want to be watched?
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The gallery with Kapoor and Bacon. 
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Views from the Tube to Tate Modern. I love the old with the new, the brick with the metal, the curved lines with the arches.

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