Posts Tagged ‘Harrier and Jaguar’

high art & plane speaking

Friday, September 17th, 2010

How often do you feel really gripped by a piece of contemporary art? I don’t know much about art and am often unsure about what I like, but I like Fiona Banner’s ‘Harrier and Jaguar’ a lot. I wonder why?

Tate Britain’s Duveen Galleries are a special context. Tate Britain is so much more approachable than its Modern big sister which, much as I like the building, seems to engulf the ideas it holds, the gazillions of tourists pouring through not helping matters. Tate Britain has less space but the bigger picture – the broader context of art tradition a foil for the limited amount of contemporary works.

The sheer improbability of this 20th century hardware robbed of motion is enhanced by the neoclassical architecture. The Harrier is strung up like a hung gamebird, the Jaguar an impossible accident. The planes could not be more surreally out of context. We can experience their spectacular physicality up close and you can’t help but wonder ‘how did they get them in here’?