The Tate Modern opened its doors tonight for its first Open House to members. It was fully booked several weeks ago – no doubt for the turbine hall’s ‘slide’ installation. I had a 7.30pm ticket and there was a huge queue for the cloakroom, before you even got near a slide, so decided to return another day for that (without a bag – they can’t be taken on the slide). However, the atmosphere was amazing. Somehow a gallery at night feels a bit naughty – and with obvious tourists absent, it felt even stranger and very, very good. The slides seem to give adults permission to enjoy themselves (as if they needed it) – one grown man finished his slide and beamed around him, wanting to share his experience. There is even a webcam of where the slides finish.
Instead, I took myself off for a look around the permanent collection. It included Joan Miro’s “Women & Bird in the Moonlight” which I remember copying from a book in 10th grade art, aged about 15 – a very long time ago! It seemed weird to see the painting in the flesh.
On the way to the Open House, you could see St Paul’s. There was also the most wonderful full moon.