A spot of culture for me and Girl Lacer today, thanks to a tip off from fellow Day of the Dead fan 5currantbuns, I learnt that The British Museum were having a Day of the Dead celebration today and as I quite fancied going to that, I thought I’d pop into Tate Modern first and check out the new Turbine Hall exhibit, Miroslaw Balka’s How it Is, which was a couple of tantalising days away from opening, last time I was at Tate Modern and I desperately wanted to see what was inside that giant metal crate, which I saw peeking over the barriers.
So, it was Tate Modern first, a quick in – out job. You go down the ramp at the Turbine Hall and there’s this great big steel box in front of you, on stilts. You walk right to the back of the Turbine Hall, which in itself is a lot more dimly lit than normal, where one of the sides of the crate is open, just literal pitch blackness inside. You head up into the box via a large black ramp and as you enter the darkness, wow, it really screws with your senses. I think a lot of people probably have very differing responses to the crate, with me it was like all my sensory processing went down to my feet and ankles, my only contact with the environment coming from my feet, on a floor I could not see, I was instantly paranoid I was going to trip or stumble over something, I had to force myself to pick up my feet instead of sliding them across the floor, as some kind of early warning system of a ridge or hole in the floor. My ankles kept having the strangest of sensations that something was about to hit them. Of course neither Tate or the artist would put holes or ridges for visitors to trip over, health and safety if anything, so it was strange how even though I knew that on a rational level and kept telling myself that, my feet and ankles were telling me, or at least fearing, a very different story.
As me and Girl Lacer walked into the crate, there were other people ahead of us and I was so paranoid about walking into them, luckily there was a boy ahead of us in a white T-shirt and several blonde people, which was handy! As me and Girl Lacer kept walking, I became increasingly paranoid that we were going to hit a wall and I could see the people ahead of us had stopped and turned, so I assumed the wall was where the others had stopped, so me and Girl Lacer stopped and turned shortly before them, it was only when we came out again, did we realise that we (and the other people) probably didn’t even make it half way across the crate, I wonder how many people make it right to the back of the crate, to it’s wall, without chickening out?
Then it was onto The British Museum, now I’m used to queuing outside the Natural History Museum and the Science Museum, but I have never ever queued outside The British Museum, until now that is. And it wasn’t even a moving queue, for a good while it was perfectly stationary. But we got in eventually, saw the tail end of the carnival procession whilst eating nachos and drinking iced lime, whilst sitting on the floor, a green skeleton slithered on it’s tummy towards Girl Lacer, it slithered directly in front of her line of sight, good god she screamed. Everything was extremely crowded and the queueing time for any activity beyond colouring in a day of the dead mask or waiting to see one of the other performances, was too much, too many people.
Un Day of the Dead related, we did go to see the Egyptian Mummies, as Girl Lacer had been inspired by the story at the Legoland Fireworks, where Indiana Jones was chased by a mummy. We also did the skeleton trail, where we had to find certain museum pieces with a skeleton theme, which Girl Lacer enjoyed. But then on the way out, you guessed it, we had to queue on the way out to (first time I’ve had to do that in any museum). So, The Day of the the Dead wasn’t a bad day out, the museum had clearly put in a lot of effort, it was just that it was more a victim of its own success.