I realise I’m a bit late on this one as it’s been in place since 13th October last year but this is my first visit to Tate Modern in a while so here are my thoughts anyway.
The monumental scale and raw construction are the first things you notice as you walk the length of How It Is to reach the entrance at the far end of the Turbine Hall. From there a shallow ramp leads up to a wall of darkness from which people emerge suddenly and noiselessly.
The introduction suggests that some people stride boldly towards the rear of the huge space whilst others timidly edge along the walls. My approach was closer to the latter. The complete lack of light created by the felt lined walls of the interior lends the darkness a solidity that heightens every sense. As the blackness immediately eradicated any perception of depth or the proximity of other people my mind raced but I stumbled on, intent on finding my way to the furthest reaches of the container.
It is possible to orient oneself by turning to face the entrance which now appears as a black framed square of light against which the silhouettes of people behind stand out starkly. Eventually reaching the far wall there is a sense of relief as at the end of a demanding journey and the satisfaction of watching others moving towards you with arms outstretched groping at the darkness. Balka states that his work is not complete without the interaction of the audience and it is certainly an involving and memorable experience, an impressive achievement from such as simple concept.
Until 5 April 2010