Sunday, January 20, 2013


Executive Summary by Darmansjah

Kyla McDonald, assistant curator Tate Modern

IMAGINE that in your hands lies an artwork worth millions of pounds. Once accidental kick and you could go down in art history. ‘It does cross my mind from time to time, ‘laughs Kyla McDonald, assistant curator at Tate Modern. ‘It can be a bit scary, but we have a huge team making sure that each painting or sculpture is transported and stored in exactly the right way.’

Since its opening in 2000, Tate Modern’s spectacular Turbine Hall exhibits and blockbuster shows have attracted 45 million visitors. Yet even in a place as popular as this, there remain overlooked spaces. Kyla curates one such space-the level 2 Gallery. Sitting right next to the Thames-side entrance, this area is often missed by visitors marching straight through to the Turbine Hall. It’s dedicated to emerging international artist, giving the public a first chance to see the work that may one day hang in the hallowed confines of its permanent collection.

‘This is space for young artist to enter into a dialogue with the established names upstairs,’ says Kyla, walking around the current exhibition – showcasing art from Morocco, Lebanon and Romania – and carefully watching how the visitors are reacting to the art. Even a small show like this takes six months to prepare.

Upstairs, on the fifth floor, is Kyla’s other favourite space – the Architecture and Power room. Its position, at the back of a room filled with Picassos and other big names, means it doesn’t get the focus from visitors that the art here deserves. Highlights include a model of the Peruvian military headquarters in Lima, topped with a printer spurting out till receipts with live Google search results for the word ‘brutalist’. This search captures the past dictatorships of South America and references to architecture itself. ‘This room and level 2 represent a shift away from the normal canon of Western art,’ says Kyla. ‘It’s about trying to integrate a more global sense into Tate Modern and allow new voices to be heard.’

Tate Modern, Bankside, SE1;

The best thing to hit Old Kent Road since Monopoly, Auto Italia host exhibitions, film screenings, gigs and talks. One of the best places to see new art (Glengall Rd, SE15;

Specializes in digging out forgotten histories of art movements that never got the attention they deserved. Set in a former Huguenot silk merchant (56 Artillery Ln,E1;

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