Tate Modern exhibition: Turbine Hall's Empty Lot is too timid for this imposing space

 
Steve Dinneen
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Empty Lot features soil taken from across London

Tate Modern | ★★☆☆☆

The Turbine hall has its first new installation since Damien Hirst filled the biggest gallery space in the country with a human skull.

Abraham Cruzvillegas piece, Empty Lot, is more thoughtful, less immediate and, at least for now, a whole lot uglier. It’s a giant wooden terrace raised on salvaged scaffolding, which houses dozens of triangular planters. The planters are filled with soil taken from various London public parks, from the Barbican Estate Gardens to Clapham Common. Nothing has ben planted, but some seeds, bulbs and fungi have stowed away. What will it grow into? Probably a bunch of weeds. Maybe Not much.

Cruzvillegas says he’s more interested in our hopes and expectations than he is the result. It’s an interesting concept that appeals the renewed interest in reclaiming public spaces. But as an installation it’s far too timid for this most imposing of spaces.

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