Tate Britain

Martin Creed

21 Oct 2013 - 13 Apr 2014

Martin Creed, The lights going on and off, 2000. Photo: Tate Photography
Martin Creed (born 1968) uses commonplace objects, simple gestures and everyday actions in his work. Things we all take for granted are brought to the forefront and become triggers for questioning. Creed often employs wit and playfulness in his work, but always underpinned by sincerity.

For Work No. 227: The lights going on and off a ‘traditional’ gallery display of physical objects is replaced by an empty room. The artist uses the existing light fittings to fill the space with a perpetual cycle of light and darkness. This work was shown in the 2001 Turner prize exhibition, when Creed won the prize.

Creed’s work challenges traditional expectations of how we experience art, and encourages a more physical engagement with our immediate surroundings. This awareness of our own presence in a gallery context encourages us to question our role as viewers, the artist’s role and the way art is made, presented and perceived.

Martin Creed’s output is diverse, including music, performance film and painting, as well as installations and his signature neon texts. At Tate Britain in 2008 he presented the Duveens Commission Work No. 850. Every 30 seconds a person ran as fast as they could through the entire length of the Duveen galleries. Each run was followed by an equivalent pause, during which the gallery was empty.

This display has been devised by curator Sofia Karamani.

Tags: Martin Creed, Sofia Karamani.