• Review

Tarek Atoui: The Reverse Collection, Tate Modern, review

Tate Modern in London opened the long-awaited Switch House last week. Some critics assumed the Tate was opening a fun palace, more intent about creating an enjoyable visitor experience than a close encounter with the arts of our time and of the future. True, there is the pleasing ascent to the 10th floor, with its 360-degree panoramic views of the city, but I encourage visitors to linger in the basement. Joined to the “old” Tate Modern by the Turbine Hall, architects Herzog and de Meuron have carved out a lobby complete with a brutal yet perversely graceful curving stairway. On this ground floor visitors can enter into what were the tanks of the old power station, one of which is currently partly inhabited by Lebanese sound artist Tarek Atoui. Atoui was born in Beirut in 1980 at the height of the civil war. He left Lebanon in 1998 and moved to France, where he studied electronic music at the French National Conservatory in Reims.