Anywhen by Philippe Parreno
Tate Modern, London, 2017
In close collaboration with Kvadrat Soft Cells, Parreno has devised a highly specialised moving installation of 19 acoustic screens that throughout the day will descend from above, creating intimate surroundings in the vast Turbine Hall. To meet the purposes required by the commission, the design of the Soft Cells panels had to be re-engineered. Part of the installation are three 16 x 2.5 metre Soft Cells panels, which were specially developed and built on site.
Anywhen presents itself as an instrument which performs a series of functions and constructs a series of situations. The hall’s lights are controlled and activated according to different sequences. An additional moving light casts shadows throughout the hall and a large central ‘marquee’ – a canopy covered in lights – is suspended over the Level 1 bridge. A changing soundscape is broadcast from various sources, blurring the sense of inside and outside, public and private, natural and technological. Vertical and horizontal acoustic panels, a screen, a grid of speakers and a projector come together in different configurations, and from time to time they present a film featuring a stage ventriloquist and underwater creatures.
Following the opening of the new Tate Modern in summer 2016, Anywhen is the first commission to respond to the Turbine Hall’s new position at the centre of the museum, an open space connected to the city itself and free for the public to enter from many different levels and directions. As if on a walk through an urban park, visitors to Anywhen encounter events, movements and images that appear and disappear over time.