Marguerite Humeau: Echoes @ Tate Britain

Emoji summary: 🕳🌅👁

ZM 18/02/18

I am having a bad day, a bad week a bad month bad year possibly. i don’t want to talk about it particularly. It is a very internal thing,,,, me and my mouth n my stomach n i hate talking about it most of the time. i can be open about it when it’s good n fixed but rn it is an open sore on my front,,, leaking, oozing, and scabby. It is hard not to project this all onto some art as i go along around a gallery, jus doing my job; to not take it out on some poor unsuspecting sculpture. It’s hard not to whisper “you’re awful and hideous” at some random painting just bc i want company in my sadness n anger. 

I am sitting in a room at the Tate Britain, one of the ones with lots of Turners - j paintings of the sea n beyond. Hot n clammy, my mouth is clenched and I am pressed against myself, emotional from the build up. I came here to see Marguerite Humeau’s show, but it was just a room: 4 walls, no chairs. I came here, lowkey bc i wanted to sit down, rest my (i was about to say like feet or legs but tbh rly i mean my entire body);;;; i wanted art as company or friend. I feel pain or sadness quite viscerally, i think that’s the right word. like emotions are quite bodily and real for me at the moment, quite intense; a sharp hit to my chest, or the bit of stomach under my ribs. My throat closes up n goes dry and my hands turn cold and wet on the palms. I am on a precarious edge, it feels like, a lot at the moment. 

The room Echoes was in was too clean and cold and the sound started hurting my head. the walls of the room were a pale but still absolutely fluorescent neon yellow and my eyes started to sting and water and i almost ran out of the room; chest pounding like i was holding my breath. and i stumbled to a bench in a room that felt far enough for me to feel better, empty enough for me to cry if i wanted to, and calm. The Turners here are quite bland and soothing to my eyes in such a nice way. They don’t demand anything at all, a very slow pace of looking and seeing. 

I used to think about art so romantically: this week i had dinner with an old school friend and i was so aware of how much i (and she) (we) have changed. I have grown cynical of things i used to jump into head first unironically; and i’ve warmed myself to things I used to hate. I have turned myself inside out, kinda. I wonder what my 18 year old self would think of me; if she’d be into the updates or if she’d recoil in horror at the inverse. I think a bit of both. But i used to hold art at such a height; high above my head with my arms outstretched towards it, very reverent. Now i have shifted, I am so casual with it, on first name terms. I am glad for the informality, but i am unsure about letting all my emotions bleed into it; to be ugly and spiteful to it, to let myself be ugly in front of it because i don’t care what it thinks of me. i do care, (i do and i don’t). I am unhappy when it spits back at me. I think the honeymoon phase is over between us (Me & Art, Art & myself) and we’re just ourselves to each other. I don’t think that’s a bad thing, i am wholly glad. How honest and good! i just wish sometimes we were less ugly to each other, that I saw it with that Old Romantic Reverence sometimes. Only sometimes,,, as like a throwback, to see it through rose-tinted glasses, airbrushed past my skepticism and away from my emotions - - -  heightened and hot.

The Turner I am sat across from has a large smudge across it on the right half of the canvas - - - like a huge smudge of yellow. I think it is the same neon yellow of the walls in the Marguerite Humeau show. It feels like Art is reminding me that even though we fight sometimes, it’s not all the time. We can scream and hit each other, but then still be softly spoken n gentle after. The Marguerite Humeau was too much for me today. i wasn’t in the mood for the facade of it all, this weird dance between me and the work, where we assume understanding n surrender parts of ourselves for aesthetic experience. When i saw her show in 2017 at Nottingham Contemporary, it was full-bodied n enormous. Like, the waterworks worked, there was a sense of being totally encompassed in this thing, this flavour. a very well set mood. In the Tate, the pipes were for show only; as i got closer to the barrels there was no liquid running through them n the sound of rushing water was coming from a speaker hidden under the platform. It sounds so picky and petty for me to say that disappointed me; but it did. It felt a bit more hollow than the work i’d seen from her before. It felt more plastic and slick, like a rehash of the same work, but without life behind the eyes. I am much happier to be sat here with these quiet paintings, as much as i think they’re tacky and overrated too; in some smaller way. they don’t offend me too much today bc i am feeling nostalgic n kinder, softer, more flexible to lean into the push of it all. I do not hate it all, n that is good to remember. 

Echoes by Marguerite Humeau is on at the Tate Britain till 15th April.

b͓̽e͓̽s͓̽t͓̽ ͓̽v͓̽i͓̽e͓̽w͓̽e͓̽d͓̽ ͓̽i͓̽n͓̽ ͓̽l͓̽a͓̽n͓̽d͓̽s͓̽c͓̽a͓̽p͓̽e͓̽
͓̽o͓̽r͓̽ ͓̽o͓̽n͓̽ ͓̽a͓̽ ͓̽d͓̽e͓̽s͓̽k͓̽t͓̽o͓̽p͓̽

{ 𝔱𝔥𝔢 𝔬𝔫𝔩𝔶 𝔯𝔢𝔞𝔰𝔬𝔫 𝔗𝔥𝔢 𝔚𝔥𝔦𝔱𝔢 𝔓𝔲𝔟𝔢 𝔠𝔞𝔫 𝔰𝔱𝔦𝔩𝔩 𝔢𝔵𝔦𝔰𝔱 𝔦𝔰 𝔟𝔢𝔠𝔞𝔲𝔰𝔢 𝔰𝔬𝔪𝔢 𝔬𝔣 𝔬𝔲𝔯 𝔯𝔢𝔞𝔡𝔢𝔯𝔰 𝔠𝔥𝔬𝔬𝔰𝔢 𝔱𝔬 𝔰𝔲𝔭𝔭𝔬𝔯𝔱 𝔲𝔰 𝔢𝔞𝔠𝔥 𝔪𝔬𝔫𝔱𝔥 𝔳𝔦𝔞 𝔓𝔞𝔱𝔯𝔢𝔬𝔫. 𝔚𝔢 𝔰𝔬𝔪𝔢𝔱𝔦𝔪𝔢𝔰 𝔡𝔬 𝔱𝔞𝔩𝔨𝔰 𝔞𝔫𝔡 𝔬𝔱𝔥𝔢𝔯 𝔧𝔬𝔟𝔰 𝔟𝔲𝔱 𝔓𝔞𝔱𝔯𝔢𝔬𝔫 𝔦𝔰 𝔥𝔬𝔴 𝔴𝔢 𝔤𝔢𝔱 𝔭𝔞𝔦𝔡 𝔣𝔬𝔯 𝔱𝔥𝔢 𝔞𝔠𝔱𝔲𝔞𝔩 𝔴𝔯𝔦𝔱𝔦𝔫𝔤 𝔥𝔢𝔯𝔢 - 𝔱𝔥𝔢 𝔯𝔢𝔳𝔦𝔢𝔴𝔰 𝔫 𝔞𝔯𝔱 𝔱𝔥𝔬𝔲𝔤𝔥𝔱𝔰 𝔞𝔫𝔡 𝔰𝔬 𝔬𝔫. 𝔄𝔫𝔡 𝔦𝔱'𝔰 𝔰𝔬 𝔦𝔪𝔭𝔬𝔯𝔱𝔞𝔫𝔱 𝔱𝔬 𝔲𝔰 2 𝔱𝔥𝔞𝔱 𝔴𝔢 𝔠𝔞𝔫 𝔰𝔱𝔞𝔶 𝔦𝔫𝔡𝔢𝔭𝔢𝔫𝔡𝔢𝔫𝔱 𝔠𝔯𝔦𝔱𝔦𝔠𝔰 𝔴𝔦𝔱𝔥𝔬𝔲𝔱 𝔱𝔦𝔢𝔰 𝔱𝔬 𝔟𝔦𝔤 𝔣𝔲𝔫𝔡𝔢𝔯𝔰 𝔬𝔯 𝔦𝔫𝔰𝔱𝔦𝔱𝔲𝔱𝔦𝔬𝔫𝔰, 𝔭𝔲𝔟𝔩𝔦𝔠 𝔬𝔯 𝔭𝔯𝔦𝔳𝔞𝔱𝔢. 𝔗𝔥𝔞𝔫𝔨 𝔶𝔬𝔲 𝔣𝔬𝔯 𝔟𝔢𝔦𝔫𝔤 𝔬𝔲𝔯 𝔬𝔩𝔡 𝔱𝔦𝔪𝔢𝔶 𝔭𝔞𝔱𝔯𝔬𝔫𝔰 - 𝔴𝔢'𝔩𝔩 𝔡𝔬 𝔬𝔲𝔯 𝔟𝔢𝔰𝔱 𝔱𝔬 𝔭𝔯𝔬𝔡𝔲𝔠𝔢 𝔮𝔲𝔞𝔩𝔦𝔱𝔶 𝔬𝔲𝔱𝔭𝔲𝔱; 𝔴𝔯𝔦𝔱𝔢 𝔰𝔱𝔲𝔣𝔣 𝔱𝔥𝔞𝔱 𝔦𝔰 𝔱𝔥𝔬𝔲𝔤𝔥𝔱𝔣𝔲𝔩 𝔞𝔫𝔡 𝔰𝔦𝔫𝔠𝔢𝔯𝔢. }

  • Black Twitter Icon
  • Black Instagram Icon