A short essay in terms of the idea of categorisation in systems.


Through feedback I realise that I needed to consider not only the effect of the art piece as it sits for its audience but also in the context of its history. That this artwork has had an effect on many peripheral things and those, in turn have had an effect on the work of art. For instance the sponsors input and requirement from the artwork. In this case the sponsor was Unilver have sponsored the Turbine Hall exhibitions at the Tate to the tune of 4.4 million pounds in the years 2000- 2012 and whose strap line is to not only double the busness of the Tate but also to promote sustainable living. according to Loulla-Mae Eleftheriou-Smith of ‘Campaingn’ a digital media magazine. However, I cannot find any particular information as to how these exhibits contribute to this ideal, not, conversly, detract particularly.Another ocnsideration is the the idea that it in some way is representing the scale of the turbine hall in comaprison to the other exhibits which have gone before and been since. Its effect on the perception of the space in terms of people who have visited the hall beofre and experienced other exhibits in the space. these are just two considerations. The list is extensive and possibly inexhaustable. but I do have a better undertanding of the idea of the non bianry categorisation of system.


I wish to consider the notion of the encounter, within a non-binary system, which allows a nuanced connection and invites encounters with the agency of matter in art practices.

Anish Kapoor’s work, particularly, works to embrace the realisation of it’s materiality alongside it’s presence and its proximity and avoids a situational them and us, his pieces make a statement which defines both physical and psychological space.

Representationalism and intra-action are embraced in such works as Marsyas an installation in the Tate’s Turbine Hall in October 2002. A vast double ended trumpet shape with an opening low down placed over the bridge in the hall.


Most definitely an installation art piece but less definitely a trumpet.


This smooth deep red skin stretches from one end of the hall to another, it dwarfs its audience whilst defying any specific definition apart from as an object. Its definition comes through its experience, its scale, its colour and its strange form.

The Tates’ write up for the exhibition expounds on the capabilities and capacity of Kapoor to transcend otherness: ‘Throughout, he has explored what he sees as deep-rooted metaphysical polarities: presence and absence, being and non-being, place and non-place and the solid and the intangible” (@tate, 2019)

This work brings together the inherent properties of being human and the materiality of the piece of work, they become inseparable in the moment of experience or in the multiple experiences and yet they also, separately, retain their individual physical properties in the moment of inter-action.

For Kapoor it was important to consider the scale and relationship to the viewer and through his pieces he creates a discursive discourse between himself, the viewer and the piece. He creates the instance in which subjectivity rather then objectivity is the biggest influence. The experience becomes objectively unnamed. Discourse as defined by Foucault as:

“ways of constituting knowledge, together with the social practices, forms of subjectivity and power relations which inhere in such knowledges and relations between them. Discourses are more than ways of thinking and producing meaning. They constitute the ‘nature’ of the body, unconscious and conscious mind and emotional life of the subjects they seek to govern”(Pitsoe, 2013)

The write up for this exhibition in The Observers Art and Culture feature at the time underlines how difficult this, and indeed many other of kapoors’ pieces, idea of belonging to this or that place becomes. The language used defies a taxonomy beyond the fact that this structure is an art installation in a public museum of art.


Sarah Cummings’ editorial describes not the physical but the metaphysical presence of the piece, embracing Barad’s notion of deffraction.


“The colour also mutates according to the light and the degree of tensile stretch. It is, in essence, a dark red, a dead red, the colour of old oxblood, especially where the fabric meets the far wall in deep shadow. At the other end, by the glass entrance, it suddenly turns translucent, a pulsating scarlet, something like the colour inside your eyelids when you squeeze them shut against the violence of dazzling sunlight. (Cumming, 2002)


I’m not entirely sure I have totally understood this concept totally but I believe that the piece Marsyas creates the sensation of dominance despite the vast open spaces of the Turbine Hall at The Tate Modern. It dominates its space and also its audience because of its materiality and scale whilst, conversely, it invites a metaphysical inter-action creating a miasma of responses which cannot be experienced collectively despite the multiple experiences of the audience as exampled by the various editorial reviews of the piece where the writers draw on the metaphysical experiences brought about by the presence of the work.


(Agnieszka Anna, 2014)




@tate (2019) ‘The Unilever Series: Anish Kapoor: Marsyas – Exhibition at Tate Modern | Tate’.

Agnieszka Anna, W. (2014) ‘Materiality of Affect: How Art can Reveal the more Subtle Realities of an Encounter

This Deleuzian Century’. Leiden, The Netherlands: Brill, pp. 169-184.

Cumming, L. (2002) ‘Art: Anish Kapoor’.

Pitsoe, V. L., Moeketsi . (2013) ‘Foucault’s Discourse and Power’, Open Journal of Philosophy, 3(1).