Hyundai Commission 2017 – Superflex, review: Exhilarating show awaits the masses

I”ve spent a lot of time in the Turbine Hall in the 17 years since it opened, but I’ve never felt as exhilarated as I did on a swing installed here by Superflex

Travelling fast through the air, legs outstretched and tucked-in beneath, daring oneself to go higher was an innocent, moving thrill in this great space. Tate Modern’s street, as its architects Herzog & de Meuron intended, is now complete with a beautifully designed playground.

And design is a key element of One Two Three Swing! It’s an immaculate sculptural object, with a orange tubular line  zig-zagging its way through the space, on to the bridge, through the wall out on to the landscape, set against a dark cork floor. The swings punctuate it with confectionary colour accents. Then there’s the chromatic spectrum of the carpet, reflected in the swinging mirror ball above. 

What of the underlying political and social message? The carpet, colour-coded according to the hues of British banknotes, and the inexorable movement of the pendulum, are symbols of the potential for apathy; the swings for collective action to fight it. 

In an assembly area at the back of the hall are unattached swings with labels saying “the collective power produced” by using them will “potentially change the trajectory of the planet”.

This is as much a thought experiment as it is a genuine intention, a metaphor for harnessing what unites us to battle a acceptance of the status quo. It’s not a show for a cynic: you have to throw yourself into it.

At the press viewing this morning, it was only partly complete: it needs the huge crowds Tate Modern attracts to activate it. It’s impressive enough without them, but with the energy of the swinging masses,  it might just be magnificent.

One Two Three Swing! is in the Turbine Hall, Tate Modern, until April 2 and admission is free

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