As part of the London 2012 Festival, Tate Modern is to host a series of blackouts during which the public can explore the museum by torchlight. Danish-Icelandic artist Olafur Eliasson has designed a portable solar-powered lamp in the shape of a sun which will bring like to 1.6 billion people who not have access to electricity. Eliasson’s ‘Little Sun’ has been mass produced in China and will be distributed in developing countries around the world. The artist, best known for ‘The Weather Project’, a vast, terrifyingly mesmeric optical illusion, a cleverly orchestrated imitation of the setting sun, has said of his latest, ‘highly personal’ creation, ‘An artwork is never just an object…It is also the experience and its contextual impact, how it is used and enjoyed, how it raises questions and changes ways of thinking and living…The Little Sun transforms the light that is for all of us into light that is for each of us’.
The blackouts, each lasting for a period of two hours, will take place over four weeks beginning this Saturday 28th July, and are designed to echo the experience of visitors to the 1938 International Surrealist Exhibition in Paris at the Galerie des Beaux-Arts whom upon entry were supplied with torches by Man Ray, ‘Master of Light’ to explore its labyrinthine galleries by torchlight.
A solar powered experience not to be missed- entry to Tate’s blackouts is free with the purchase of a Little Sun, which costs £16.50. Blackout dates are as follows:
Saturday 28 July 10 p.m. – midnight
Saturday 4 August 10 p.m. – midnight
Saturday 11 August 10 p.m. – midnight
Saturday 18 August 10 p.m. – midnight
Saturday 8 September 10 p.m. – midnight