Don’t Hate Tate

Modern art is not something most people consider art, and that’s okay, everyone sees something else, but today, I too saw something else.

Tate modern does a very good job at bring England into the modern art era. I have been all around London this past week and a half, and “modern art” isn’t really what I would say London is known for, however Tate does a very good job at bringing modern art to London.

All the displays were carefully laid out and presented in a dramatic way that really lets viewers relate to the circumstances and the events that were taking place when the artist was making them. For instance, the Spanish civil war paintings and sculptures were all collected in one dimly lit room that really helps the viewer feel the horrible atmosphere that the painter or sculptor portrays in their work.

Each masterpiece, although it might be unclear to tell, had a symbolic meaning and purpose behind it. There was one that had a canvas nearly as long as the wall with what seemed to be strips of fabric across it. Upon further examination though, the canvas was covered in strips of high-pressure hoses and was made during the 1960s in America.

I’ll be honest, I didn’t get that at first, and I don’t think a lot of people give it the second glance like I did, but just this single piece alone sends a big message.

That message could be a bad message to some people though, and that is where Public Relations comes in. Each piece of art in Tate is sponsored by someone, and recently, the big controversy is BP sponsoring some of these pieces.

Although some of these pieces, like the ones mentioned above, involve social conflict, many works were concerned about natural causes, and human interaction. Mainly, they were centered around the idea that human interactions are disturbing natural forces.

BP does not exactly have the “cleanest” name when it comes to nature. However, by sponsoring displays, both Tate and BP benefit. The name BP and oil spills goes hand in hand, and is often the first thing we think of when we think of either of those two things, however, by sponsoring these displays, BP is trying to put up more than man-made disasters with it’s reputation by supporting art that says human interaction with nature is harmful. As for Tate, because of BP, they are able to bring more modern art to London.

Now, what if BP was bringing modern art to Los Angeles or New York? In those cities, modern art is not a rarity, therefore I do not believe it would get as much attention, but protests would still be made because BP sponsored it (I think that would happen anywhere.)

Knowing about these protest, and thinking about what it might be like in other cities didn’t really take a toll on my experience at the museum. I thought it might, and I even tried to think about it as I walked through the rooms and the halls, but my mind wouldn’t stay on that.

I didn’t walk through Tate thinking about the controversies with sponsors, instead, I thought about the controversies within the work. Each piece told a story, told history, told of motivation. Yet no one protesting is angered by those things, but instead by who allowed the piece to get there.

I looked at masterpieces today, and not a lot of people get to say that. I got to be confused by plants in triangular-shaped beds. I was able to be again puzzled by Joan Miro because despite studying him in Spanish IV, I still do not understand him. I looked a bloody flag on a pole and was moved. I watched an entire short film of blind people painting what they saw in their mind. And I was amazed.

I don’t know who else can say that who wasn’t at Tate today, and especially not anyone complaining about sponsorship of the artwork.

Keep modernizing London, soon, people will get it.

 

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Where has Bailey Been the Past 24 Hours?

I know I didn’t post anything yesterday (I know, sorry dad) but that is only simply because I have been doing CRAZY things all around London (no, not that crazy dad) I mean crazy things like…..

… pretending to be Barbie

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#twinstatus

 

….. eating a sweet potato fry the size of my hand!

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That is my hand, and that is the sweet potato fry… CRAZY

…watching Bend it like Beckham!

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Just go and see it, it’s amazing

 

…. smuggling other (smaller) sweet potato fries into the theater via new traveling coffee mug!

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shhh, don’t tell anyone

 

…Walking across the Millennium Bridge!

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No Death Eaters, but still CRAZY

…watching this dude levitate or something

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#stillamazed

…and watching a really cute guy sing really well

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He sang “Landslide” and I almost cried

….Flying with Peter Pan!

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I BELIEVE!

… and getting attacked by killer pigeons.

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They look harmless… but they attacked me

So maybe the last one wasn’t really that fun (and yes, it did happen) but it was still CRAZY!

Thanks for the crazy stuff London!

The BBC

After my dread-filled morning compiled of shopping and designer clothes, it was a relief to go the BBC headquarters.

Seeing a live newsroom and set at the level that BBC is at with global broadcasting and the incredible amount of people that tune in, I had chills looking down on the many journalists and reporters in the newsroom.

I’m not going to lie, I did picture myself sitting at one of those desks.

Now, I have always looked up to news studios such as BBC, however, as I mentioned being at BBC to my sister, and her knowing nothing about the BBC, I realized that maybe not everyone really knows what I am talking about.

In the simplest terms for my family and anyone else confused already: the BBC is the British version of CNN.

Having never visited or toured a CNN studio, I can’t compare the two in a non-bias way. However, I will say that from the tour and further readings, the BBC has my vote for the most reliable news source.

The BBC is the largest broadcasting network in the world, and they have been around a lot longer than CNN. With so many people watching, and being such a big name, the BBC has to be reliable and trustworthy. However, some might argue that the same terms apply to CNN, however, it was something on our tour that our guide said that really sold me.

“The BBC is more concerned with getting it right than getting it first.”

It might have just been my imagination, but I think she was hinting towards CNN with that remark. She then backed up her statement with examples about how the BBC checks, double-checks, and triple-checks sources to prove their accuracy.

Again, I have never toured a CNN studio, (but oh, how I would love to) but the obvious difference between the two sources are the different global settings. although any major event happening in the world affects everyone and deserves equal attention, the BBC is only naturally more focused on European events and anything in the eastern hemisphere, while CNN is more focused on anything concerning America.

Despite their differences, the CNN and the BBC are healthy competition to keep opposing views and anything happening in the news un-biased for viewers.

Gawking at the newsroom is not the only thing that I did while at the BBC however I probably would have be happily satisfied with just that, we toured studios, looked at a huge sidewalk leading up to the studio that was actually an incredible work of art, we hosted our own broadcast, and even had dinner at a vampire’s mansion (don’t ask).

Who knows, maybe one day I’ll end up back in London on the BBC!

The Cave of Wonders

Waking up yesterday morning was very uneventful for me. On other days I have been enthusiastically jumping out of my bed and into an outfit fitting for the days’ activities.

However yesterday, I only somehow managed to roll out of bed and into a not-so-comfortable outfit to face the first part of my day…. Shopping.

I am not a shopaholic nor do I enjoy pointlessly wandering about department stores filled with name brands and wanna-be name brands. I do not fantasize about designer dresses or the new line that whoever is about to release. Basically, having a morning filled with Harrods filled me with disgust and a slight amount of self-loathing.

(Although the Disney Store did become my safe haven and when I stepped outside the brown sugar sculptors were awesome).

You will be pleased to hear, despite the first encounter, I survived.

The HUGE store with little to no advertisement around the city was filled top to bottom (which includes 7 levels by American terms) with designers, name brands, and sales.

Everything was so expensive, I probably couldn’t even afford a hanger. The place was literally the cave of wonders for shopaholics: you can look, but you can’t touch anything, no matter how tempting it might be.

I will admit, that previous statement may have been a little dramatic, there were certain stores that were reasonably priced (I even bought a little travel coffee mug, that I later filled with sweet potato fries… that’s a different story though).

Once I took a step back, and looked past my melodramatic attitude, I realized, Harrods is actually more of a Venus-flytrap for shopaholics. Harrods creates a very loyal relationship with their customers, and the other stores they provide space for. Basically, if a brand was in Harrods, they’ve made it. There were designers that I have never even heard of, but I knew they were big because they were right next to Prada and Micheal Kors. And once that shopaholic steps over the threshold, it’s over. They get lost and end up buying everything.

As for the marketing and advertisements for Harrods itself: I would have never known about this Cave of Wonders had everyone I had come in contact not been talking about it. Harrods is the “it” department store here and even though there is not advertisements all over the city, plastered on billboards and underground stations or marketed across sidewalks and newspapers, the people of London, and any shopper even remotely up to date, markets for Harrods.

Although I had never heard of Harrods before, everyone else seemed to have heard and known of them before, and they were just killing to get through those doors.

Going to Harrods was not a shopping trip for me, however, it was an experience in itself. One that I personally am not going to do again without purpose. I know that if I was a shopaholic, I never would have left the place. I mean, it’s a livable place: restaurants on each floor, furniture galleries with beds big enough to fit my whole class, and I would surely never run out of clothes.

But anyone who knows me knows I would never wish that fate on my worst enemy.

Nice try London, but you didn’t get me this time!