One Two Three Swing! at Tate Modern

Is there anything more liberating than swinging? (No, not that sort. What are you like?) Now here’s something the kids will love. And their grown-ups too. Earlier this month saw Tate Modern’s Turbine Hall swing into action as it unveiled its latest installation.

One Two Three Swing! is a playful, interactive piece by Danish design collective, Superflex.  This third annual commission by car giant, Hyundai, sees a weaving orange line connecting dozens of three-seated swings through the Turbine Hall. And it’s a biggie with plans to extend beyond the gallery and activate the landscape outside Tate Modern where it will continue to extend and develop over time.

The message here is collective movement, inviting its users to work together to combat social apathy. And an important directive for our kids too, at a time where, sadly, they are exposed to so much of the ‘grown-up stuff’ – the conflict, politics and environmental and economic crises of our age, it acts as a fun tool to encourage them to join together with others on the count of three – One Two Three Swing!

One Two Three Swing! is a nod to the Turbine Hall’s industrial history as a site for energy generation and now in its new usage as a main space in an art gallery. The piece will eventually evolve to connect to London’s network of public spaces as new swings are added and the orange line continues to grow. A kind of extendable pop-up playground where you can pull up a swing with a couple of friends or be brave and broach the concept with a couple of strangers. We’re all a bit ‘British’ when it comes to things like this, I know. But go on, give it a go. It’s so much fun.

For the more thought provoked amongst us, One Two Three Swing! can be experienced in 3 states: apathy, production and movement. The large swinging pendulum denotes apathy. Suspended from the ceiling by a 20 metre cable, above a massive carpet inspired by the colour of British money. The state of production occupies the far end of the hall. With a kind of factory assembly for swing seats, being stored prior to use. And then movement, as the orange line emerges to form sets of interconnected swings, inviting users to get involved.

One Two Three Swing, Tate Modern, Superflex, Art, Design, Turbine Hall, Swings, Pendulum

Photo: © Tate

Superflex was founded in 1993 by Jakob Fenger, Bjørnstjerne Christiansen and Rasmus Nielsen. The creative trio has already gained international recognition for their projects which challenge the role of the artist in today’s society. It is exciting to see these pieces in our urban public spaces and I can’t wait to see the evolution of One Two Three Swing!