Martin Creed at Tate Britain
Monday to Sunday, 10am to 6pm
For 'Work No. 227: The lights going on and off' a ‘traditional’ gallery display of physical objects is replaced by an empty room. The artist uses the existing light fittings, which turn on and off every five seconds, to fill the space with a perpetual cycle of light and darkness. Creed was awarded the 2001 Turner Prize for this work, a decision which at the time provoked much controversy as critics and visitors debated whether such a minimalist installation even constituted art.
Creed’s work challenges received understandings of how we experience art, and indeed what art 'is'. He asks us to question our role as viewers, the artist’s role and the way art is made, presented and perceived. In this installation, the absence of any fixed object on which to focus encourages the visitor to contemplate and reflect upon their own mood, meaning that the audience is as much responsible for the effect of the work as the artist.
This display was devised by curator Sofia Karamani.