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TATE MODERN - A PALIMPSESTIC SITE OF FORGETTING? - Walk
Sun 18 June 2017, 11:00 – 13:00 BST
You know this building as the Tate Modern, but ever wondered what this building and area was like before it became a famous art gallery?
Can you imagine this space as a dirty, noisy energy generating plant, rather than a clean, pristine art gallery?
Who were the people to occupy this space before? How many people worked here before? What do they think of the "new" use of the building?
Well now is your chance to find out!
This walking tour aims to establish a platform for the previously unheard voices of Bankside. The walking tour, in and around the Tate Modern building will be an exploration into the human heritage of this industrial building.
Palimpsest implies equivalently conflicting qualities: “presence and absence, visibility and invisibility, memory and forgetting” (Huyssen, 2003). The building’s heritage is clearly visible via material on display and the industrial characteristics of the Tate Modern (TM) itself; the towering chimney, the pulleys in the Turbine Hall, as well as the Tanks of the newly built Switch House. These all provide a palimpsestic space, giving indications of the building’s previous industrial use to current visitors.
From 1952 to 1981 the building supplied electricity to London and although the existence of people at the former power station cannot be contested as the station would not have run unaided, what is known about those who contributed to the running of this building as a power station? Who were they? What is their history? Whilst facts provide vital information about the history of this building, the concept of palimpsest is explored to scratch below the industrial and structural historical traces currently on display and explore what is absent, what is invisible and what has been forgotten in the Tate Modern's tangible display.
As the tour unfolds, it aims to unearth personal, lived experiences of former workers. As they retell memories and stories of the building during its years as a power station it will allow the contemporary visitor a chance to interact directly and in situ with the building's past. Permitting the exploration of and challenge of concepts of memory within architecture.