The Source

One of Tate Liverpool’s contributions to the Liverpool Biennial is an installation by the artist, Doug Aitken. It consists of a series of interviews about creativity and inspiration with artists from a number of fields including music, theatre, architecture. The objective was to explore the source of creative ideas; where they start and how they are realised.

The videos are shown inside a specially constructed pavilion designed by British architect David Adjaye. It’s a round structure and walking inside you are hit by a cacophony of noise as several videos are all being projected at the same time into a number of individual booths lining the perimeter of the circular structure with the side facing the centre of the pavilion open. The side walls of the booths are lined with sound absorbent foam so when you stand inside one of the booths, most of the sound from the other booths, although still audible, fades into the background. You’re then able to concentrate on the interview playing in the booth you’re standing in.

The individual videos are relatively short, but are all the same length so start and finish at the same time. At the end an short animated abstract sequence plays and then other videos start playing. I believe that the sequence is randomised so you’re not sure what’s coming next.

We visited during the daytime, but during the evening, after it’s gone dark, the videos can be seen from the outside of the structure – a clever idea.

Doug Aitken, 'Sky Arts Ignition: Doug Aitken - The Source 2012'.

This is the trailer for the installation that includes clips from the interviews.

The interviews with the individual artists are being published one by one on a weekly basis on the Tate Liverpool website here.

I thought it was an interesting work on many levels – the questions being asked, the ideas and opinions of the interviewees and the acoustic aspects of the way the videos were presented – the way the jumble of sounds you first encounter are resolved into an intelligible sequence on entering a booth.

Soundbites from the interviews are stencilled on the pavement around the Albert Dock and some of the other streets in the centre of Liverpool. A good way of advertising the exhibition, but also a work of art in themselves.

We watched several of the videos, but didn’t have the time to see all of them.I’d like to see more of them and we’ll be visiting again (probably a few times) before the exhibition finishes on 13 January 2013. We’ll certainly be trying to visit during the evening to see the videos projected on the outside of the pavilion. That will be a lot easier now the nights are drawing in. There can be some good things about the cold, dark Winter!

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2 thoughts on “The Source

  1. This is very interesting – I will try and see it sometime. I am especially interested in the stencils as I have been thinking about outdoor lettering lately. David Adjaye is an architect I like too. Thanks for the post!

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