Loewe x Anthea Hamilton On Tate Britain Commission 2018: The Squash
Tate Britain unveils The Squash, an immersive installation combining performance and sculpture by 2016 Turner Prize nominee Anthea Hamilton. The artist has designed seven costumes in collaboration with LOEWE to be worn by the performers. The Squash has been created for the annual Tate Britain Commission, which invites contemporary British artists to create new artwork in response to the grand space of the Duveen Galleries.
Anthea Hamilton has transformed the heart of Tate Britain into an elaborate stage for the continuous 6-month performance of a single character, dressed in a colourful squash-like costume. Over 7,000 white floor tiles have been laid to span the length of the Duveens and encase a series of large structures that serve as podiums for a number works of art from Tate’s collection, chosen by Hamilton for their organic forms and colours. The tiles create an immersive new environment within the neoclassical galleries.
The artist is influenced by the early 20th century French writer and dramatist Antonin Artaud and his call for the ‘physical knowledge of images’, it is this bodily response to an idea or an image that she wishes to examine in The Squash. Each element of the work has evolved from Hamilton’s interest in a found photograph, for which the original source has since been lost. The viewer must imagine its history and intention and it is here the artist brings together tiles, structures, sculptures and costumes, inviting the performer to explore their own interpretation of the image. Hamilton has designed seven costumes in collaboration with Creative Director Jonathan Anderson from the fashion house LOEWE that incorporate the colours and shapes of varieties of squash or pumpkin. The squash inspired the organic textures of the costumes and heads, that range from hand painted leather to printed silk crepon, while 1970s clothing references shaped some of the silhouettes. Performers will select a costume each day, informing and reflecting their individual presentation ofthe character as they inhabit the space.
Alex Farquharson, Director, Tate Britain, said: ‘Anthea Hamilton has made a unique contribution to British and International Art with her visually playful works that both provoke and delight. This compelling commission demonstrates her ability to seamlessly weave together captivating images and narratives, creating rich new environments in which to encounter works of art.’
Tate Britain Commission 2018: Anthea Hamilton is curated by Linsey Young, Curator of Contemporary British Art, Tate, and Sofia Karamani, Assistant Curator of Contemporary British Art,