They said you couldn’t engage the masses with contemporary art, but engage them they did… with not far short of 5 million visitors a year, Tate Modern has been somewhat of a sensation since it opened at the turn of the century. Coveted Basel-based architects Herzog & de Meuron‘s spellbinding transformation of Sir Giles Gilbert Scott’s Bankside Power Station has not just become the world’s most visited art gallery, but one of its most iconic too.
As part of an ambitious project to increase gallery space, the Swiss duo have been called upon once more, and this week’s opening of The Tanks signals its first phase. Formerly home to 1.1 million gallons of oil, the power station’s abandoned tanks now play host to the gallery’s first dedicated spaces for live art and film. More East Berlin than South London, the rawness of The Tanks’ orignal industrial heritage has been retained – it’s exposed concrete warehouse-chic to the nth degree, and we simply can’t get enough.
A new commission by Korean artist Sung Hwan Kim is the first work to be created specifically for the tanks, joining a host of other works that comprises Art in Action – a fifteen-week festival that celebrates performance, film and installation as part of the Cultural Olympiad’s London 2012 Festival. Running ’til 28th October, this series of works are masterfully suited to the haunting, magical chambers they inhabit; and present your first chance to witness one of the world’s most inspirational art spaces.