ARTIST ROOMS: Martin Creed – London
Tate Britain: Display
21 October 2013 – 13 April 2014

See all current ARTIST ROOMS on Tour

Martin Creed The lights going on and off 2000

Martin Creed
The lights going on and off 2000

Photo: Tate Photography
© Martin Creed

Martin Creed (born 1968) uses commonplace objects, simple gestures and everyday actions in his work. Things we all take for granted are brought to the forefront and become triggers for questioning. Creed often employs wit and playfulness in his work, but always underpinned by sincerity.

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 to fill the space with a perpetual cycle of light and darkness. This work was shown in the 2001 Turner prize exhibition, when Creed won the prize.

Creed’s work challenges traditional expectations of how we experience art, and encourages a more physical engagement with our immediate surroundings. This awareness of our own presence in a gallery context encourages us to question our role as viewers, the artist’s role and the way art is made, presented and perceived.

Martin Creed’s output is diverse, including music, performance film and painting, as well as installations and his signature neon texts. At Tate Britain in 2008 he presented the Duveens Commission Work No. 850. Every 30 seconds a person ran as fast as they could through the entire length of the Duveen galleries. Each run was followed by an equivalent pause, during which the gallery was empty.

This display has been devised by curator Sofia Karamani.

Work No.227: The lights going on and off has been acquired for the Tate collection with funds provided by Tate Members, the Art Fund and Konstantin Grigorishin 2013. Following this display it will go on tour as part of ARTIST ROOMS.