The Nature Of The Catastrophe
The Turbine Hall is a challenging space. The cleverly enlarged sculptures, in particular replicas of a Louise Bourgeois spider and a bright red Alexander Calder piece, lend structure to fill its stark volume, looming over the bunk beds, which are both domestic in scale and, in their repetition, industrial/commercial, like a supermarket storage area emptied by looters. As a narrative framework in which the audience can wander, and invent their own stories, it works well enough - the schoolchildren visiting it were definitely energised by it - but the concept itself seemed somewhat thin and sketchy. Why does the rain make the sculptures grow? Why do they increase in scale and kept their exact form - why don’t they swell or mutate? Where is the human detritus we associate with vast disasters, or the intricate detailing of fully worked futures, as in Children of Men?
Outside, walking west along the river, I saw a maintenance platform beside Blackfriars Bridge -like an amphibious refuge in some global flood, full of human clutter and detail, and life. It’s the last that was missing from the antiseptic tableau in the Turbine Hall. Still, even if it didn't fully engage me, I enjoyed witnessing the intrusion of a possible future into this public space, if only because I have a professional interest how it will stimulate discussion of SF tropes.