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Mike Nelson: The Asset Strippers at Tate Britain

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Time 11:00
Date 06/10/19
Price Free

Carefully selecting objects from the post-war Britain that framed his childhood, Nelson transforms the heart of Tate Britain into something between a sculpture court and an asset strippers’ warehouse.

Running until Sunday 06 October.

Mike Nelson has carefully selected objects including enormous knitting machines, woodwork stripped from a former army barracks, graffitied steel awnings and doors from an NHS hospital.

Nelson’s project has been informed by the Duveen Galleries’ origins as the first purpose-built sculpture galleries in England, intended to rival the sculpture court at the British Museum and the V&A’s Cast Courts. It turns the neo-classical galleries into a warehouse of monuments to a lost era and the vision of society it represented.

Nelson is interested in the cultural and social contexts behind the objects he has selected, as well as their material qualities. He explains: "Their manipulation and arrangement subtly shift them from what they once were into sculpture, and then back again to what they are – examples of the machines and equipment left over from industry and infrastructure. The exhibition weaves this allusion with that of British history. It presents us with a vision of artefacts cannibalised from the last days of the industrial era in place of the treasures of empire that would normally adorn such halls."