Tate Modern’s Turbine Hall has seen its fair share of large-scale, site-specific installations by a number of artists. Its latest, Empty Lot, created by the Mexican artist Abraham Cruzvillegas, is the first of a number of installations supported by the new Hyundai Commission.
Empty Lot is one of Cruzvillegas’ most ambitious projects to date. Using scaffolding, found objects from around London and triangular planters arranged into a diamond-shaped grid, the conceptual artist has created his own ‘lot’ within the confines of the Turbine Hall. The installation is viewable from the first floor balcony, where it appears to hover as one looks down upon the sloping field, and from below, on the Turbine Hall ground floor, where one is transported to an urban forest, looking up at a canopy of scaffold and stripped wooden beams.
The planters are filled with nothing but soil collected from parks around London and will be lit by lamps and watered daily. However, it is ‘hope’ that the conceptual artist sees as the main material; the hope that something might grow, the hope that together people might think about the possibilities of what could happen, both within the planters and in a broader sense.
By bringing the soil and the found, repurposed objects together, Cruzvillegas aims to show the way in which everything is useful and alive, revealing the unseen relationships and connections between the different components of the installation — relationships that will continue to change and develop, one expects, as time goes on.
The installation fills the space very poetically. The industrial structure recalls the Tate Modern’s past life as a power station, whilst the soil and the potential of growth reminds viewers of the organic and sometimes unexpected paths that art can lead spectators down.
Empty Lot is the first of ten commissions to be sponsored by the Hyundai Commission and will remain in Tate Modern’s Turbine Hall until April 3, 2016 and is free to visit.
Tate Modern, Bankside, London, UK, +44 20 7887 8888