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Topology at the TATE

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					Topology at the TATE
Tate Modern/NTNU is collaborating on a 6 months event in 2011 Tate Modern on
topological thinking and practice.

In the lead-up to Tate Modern's major building project (known as "Transforming
Tate Modern"), for which Tate has again partnered with Herzog & de Meuron,
who were also architects of the original Tate Modern that opened in 2000, we are
engaged in developing a series of projects that directly explore the nature of the
relationship between our public(s), artists and the institution. As we are gearing
up to build a new building, we have identified the need to explore, critically and
openly, how we can reconcile the construction of a fixed architecture with the as
yet unknown needs of future artists, making potentially radically different types of
art for future audiences and publics with their own as yet unknown expectations.
The fact that this new building will become part of an art centre housed in a
monumental former power station that lost its originally intended purpose within a
few decades of being commissioned makes our interest all the more acute.
Tate, which has established itself as a globally recognized brand, is often
considered a monolithic institution from the outside, and that is, in part, what
motivates us to explore the many different voices, programmes and events that
make up the institution as a complex space.

The topology project, devised by leading intellectuals, artists and writers in
partnership with Public Programmes, Tate Modern, is one of the key ways in
which we plan to engage in a critical exploration of the role of art and the
institution in society. By focusing on topology, we expose the concept of space,
and thus Tate itself, to rigorous scrutiny, as a space of discussion and
engagement, a space of encounter and exploration, a space for the formation of
knowledge and subjects.

Topology, as a general theory of space was constructed by mathematicians in
the first half of the twentieth century. Within a few years of its inception, artists,
philosophers, psychoanalysts, scientists and critics of all kinds had started to use
the concepts of this new science. Limit, boundary, interior, exterior,
neighborhood, disconnection and cut were the central notions that became ways
of describing the field of forces experienced by an individual within their
environment. Unevenly but more and more widely topological thinking about
generalized spaces has been developed so as to apply to structures across the
humanities and the sciences. Space is no longer experienced as a residuum, the
inert context in which objects are produced and exchanged. Instead space is
rendered a medium of production, a surface of becoming or being-in. how to
inhabit this space of becoming will be the question posed by the Topology at
Tate series.

Dr Marko Daniel
Curator, Public Programmes
TATE Modern, London

				
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