HYUNDAI COMMISSION. EL ANATSUI: BEHIND THE RED MOON FOR TATE MODERN’S TURBINE HALL.
Tate Modern, London
The Hyundai Commission: El Anatsui: Behind the Red Moon is staged in three acts which visitors are invited to move between. The first hanging, titled The Red Moon, resembles the majestic sail of a ship billowing out in the wind, announcing the beginning of a journey across the Atlantic Ocean. Red liquor bottle-tops form the outline of a red moon, or ‘blood moon’, as it appears during a lunar eclipse.
The second sculpture, , is composed of many individual layers that evoke human figures suspended in a restless state. The ethereal appearance of these figures is achieved using thin bottle-top seals wired together to create a net-like material. When viewed from a particular vantage point, these scattered shapes come together into a single circular form of the Earth.
In Anatsui’s final hanging, The Wall, a monumental black sheet of metal cloth stretches from floor to ceiling. At its base, pools of bottle tops rise from the ground in the form of crashing waves and rocky peaks. Behind its black surface, a delicate structure of shimmering silver is revealed, covered in a mosaic of multi-coloured pieces. This combination of lines and waves, blackness and technicolour, echoes the collision of global cultures and hybrid identities that Anatsui invites us to consider throughout his work.