In the 19th century, public galleries opened to provide access to art for the enjoyment and education of all members of society. At this time, it was common for paintings to be displayed close together from floor to ceiling to create a ‘salon hang’, named after exhibitions held in the Salon Carré of the Louvre, the national museum of France. This arrangement was often guided by instinct rather than a planned concept, and could transform the gallery goer’s impression of the exhibited paintings.
This display highlights similarities between the mass display of art in a salon hang and the ability of 21st-century digital and social media platforms such as Tumblr and Instagram to present large numbers of images in a single location online. Digital artworks created in response to the display are presented alongside Tate collection works, selected for the visual qualities they share with images created for these contemporary platforms.
The rise of social media along with the mass distribution and consumption of images is transforming how we communicate visually. Images can be easily accessed, they are repeatedly re-used and presented out of context, and the source of the image is immediately replaced. This alters how origin, meaning and content might be read, raising questions about the value of originality and authenticity of the image’s original source.
Six themes will be explored for each month of the duration of the display. Each month includes a workshop or event in response to the themes:
- April: Streetstyle
- May: Pattern, Graphics and Print
- June: Order and Compulsion
- July: Narrative, Text and Image
- August: Texture and Collage
- September: Street Photography
Each month there is an open call for submissions in response to each of the 6x6 themes explored in the display. Take part and you could see your work featured on the screens that form part of Source, highlighting how the Tate collection resonates with contemporary visual culture.
Within the display, an installation explores the link between physical and digital experiences in the gallery. It draws parallels with the critical discussion that was encouraged in the 19th century Salon and is commonplace through use of the comment function found in social-media platforms. Produced by Put Turn Pull.
This interactive sound installation explores how we interpret the origin, meaning and content of sound. Using the collection works and 6x6 themes as inspiration, it breaks down the interplay between sound and image. Produced by Tanya Boyarkina.
Accompanying the display, Space is a Tate Collective curated space that invites young people to come and use Tate Britain in a different way. Space offers young visitors the opportunity to hang out, talk, think, learn or just be. At the Learning Gallery, Tate Britain.
Source display and Space have been curated by Tate Collective London. Tate Collective London plan and develop events for other young people, 15–25 years, to create, experiment and engage with the Tate Collection at Tate Britain and Tate Modern.
Tell us what you think #SourceDisplay