Information Overload: Wolfgang Tillmans' @ Tate Modern
The winding, white-walled warren of Wolfgang Tillmans' Tate Modern exhibition takes us through a world of images where the viewer becomes the story teller. I began by studying every image, depicting everything from close ups to landscapes; moving in and out of a multiplicity of narratives, trying to piece together an intention and connect this mass of information.
The art is in the presentation; taking snapshots from all aspects of the world and arranging them to give rhythm and rhyme but no reason. We encounter the world again and again in these images, whether it's Tillmans' deconstructed printer, the endless ocean or a close up of a pair of balls; he presents a huge amount of information, whilst we struggle to find our way through and connect it all.
For me, it was only through the failure to complete this impossible task that brought me to the realisation that Tillmans is skilfully conducting the stream of visitors. He brings you in close and pushes you back with the shifting scales and perspectives; he sends your eyes darting up and down the walls, each time you turn a corner there's a new encounter which only serves to add to your bewilderment.
There's music leading you to a room lacking images, which acts as a release to the flood of visuals which Tillmans' sends our way. This intermission to his performance sent me back into the labyrinth joyous and carefree; I'd broken through the wall of information overload and continued sifting through the material. I was no longer searching for anything, just enjoying the ride.
If you go with someone else you'll see how their course through this ocean of images differs, as you bounce from wall to wall, occasionally crossing paths and retelling the stories you've found. This exhibition teaches us to abandon the fruitless search and to enjoy the ride and the story told along the way.