With the entire weekend in London, a bit of a rarity for me, I have been determined to make use of the time and the continuing summer weather. On Saturday I met M at Borough Market and walked along the south bank of the Thames to Vauxhall before a bus journey and a slow saunter home through Kensington Palace Gardens.

Today I visited Tate Britain to see Fiona Banner’s Duveens Commission 2010 – two actual decommissioned Harrier and Jaguar military jets ! When I first heard of the exhibition I felt sure I had made a mistake – surely this installation would be in Tate Modern. However, when you see the art and read Banner’s comments that’s the whole point.

“I started wondering what would have happened if these airplanes were installed in Tate Modern rather than Tate Britain ? I realised immediately that the thought would never have presented itself. The building, and the aircraft are not rhyming artifacts. In this stripped out environment, they would fit too well, and risk being yet another impudent repudiation of that industrial ethic. Tate Britain, on the other hand, invests the aircraft with the vocabulary of its design, and the aircraft invest Tate Britain with the aura of worldly power it once possessed. But place the aircraft in Tate Modern and nothing would happen. The building would become overpowered; it would be a hanger, an accessory, a pragmatic umbrella to keep the rain off the machines. There would be no conflict, no fragility, no power struggle.”

Or as it struck me – juxtaposition really works !

The stripped down Jaguar, positioned upside down for me was the more powerful, probably because you could get real close and marvel at its lines.

It felt good to be outside, rather than inside, an aeroplane for once.


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