Saturday, February 23, 2008

England: Day 8

The artist, Doris Salcedo, has titled it Shibboleth, but everyone in London just calls it "The Crack." Salcedo's long, fractured opening in the concrete floor of the vast Turbine Hall at the Tate Modern is the latest installation in the Unilever Series, and a non-event as far as this viewer is concerned, since it never gets wide enough to seem like any kind of real division or threat. Children like fitting themselves into it and waving for the camera, and when I was there parents were busy dipping babies into it, something my friend, Emily, pointed out they would never do if they came across a similar opening in a street or sidewalk. However the Duchamp, Man Ray, and Picabia show, installed in 13 rooms, was totally worth the visit. I liked the T-shirt, too, black with a white Duchamp spiral, but at £25, almost the equivalent of $50, I passed it over.

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