Appearing Rooms

With the weather yesterday hovering around 30C in London, children outside the Hayward Gallery proved that art can be enjoyed at any age. Of course it helped that the art in question provided jets of water and a definite sense of danger.

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Jeppe Hein’s Appearing Rooms is a very simple idea. Take a square, cut it in half and then in half again so that there are four squares within the square. Along the lines add jets of water that in a random sequence squirt up to form walls trapping anybody inside. Sometimes you can get in; sometimes you can cross to an adjoining room; sometimes you can get out but at all times you are in danger of getting wet.

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Not that getting wet seemed to bother any of the many children playing in it. Mostly fully clothed they were absolutely soaked. It could have been regarded as a sound installation because they were all squealing with delight.

There are fountains in many places across London but it was the forms of the people taking part that turned it into art.

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I wondered whether it was possible to go inside and stay dry. The trick appeared to be to stay very still in the centre of the smaller squares. I finally saw one brave man come out without needing a towel . I thought of going in myself but with no change of clothes to hand and a friend to meet for lunch I wimped out,

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I really wanted to be five and not to care.


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