Anthea Hamilton: The Squash at the Duveen Galleries
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How’s does it feel to be a vegetable, more specifically, a squash? This is the question that Anthea Hamilton asked when she was invited to create a work for the Duveen Galleries of the Tate Britain. Three majestic halls in the neoclassic style - the first public space in Great Britain designed specifically for displaying sculptures - welcome a compelling installation, inside of which, every day for more than six months, a performer shifts about dressed in the forms and colours of seven different varieties of squash. All around this, on a structure composed of seven-thousand shingles, are numerous works from the Tate Collection, chosen by Hamilton for their connection with the natural world. Beyond the playful aspect of the work, the event is one of the most important in the annual programming of the Tate, which, in the past, has involved some of the most important living British artists, such as Mona Hatoum, Mark Wallinger, Martin Creed, Fiona Banner, Phyllida Barlow, Cerith Wyn Evans. Known for her surrealist leanings and for having scandalised the public of the Turner Prize with a sculpture depicting a gigantic door in the shape of a buttocks - Project for a Door (After Gaetano Pesce) - Anthea Hamilton is the first Afro-British artist to receive the commission for the Duveen Galleries. Her work is inspired by the theatre of Antonin Artaud and also takes inspiration from the photography of a dance performance in 1960 that reinterprets a ritual of the Hopi tribe of North America.