Inverted House
Installation view
Tate Modern Project Space, London
A collaboration with Siniša Ilić
Photo: Ben Cain

The result of a collaboration between Tate Modern and the Museum of Contemporary Art in Belgrade, this exhibition began with two curatorial residencies which took place in Belgrade and London during May and June of 2013. Using the notion of the residency – the practice of working in a defined location for a fixed amount of time – as a framework for the exhibition, Tina Gverović and Siniša Ilić were invited to undertake a residency of their own at Tate Modern the following September. The new work and site-specific installation that filled the Project Space was conceived and produced before, during and after this time.

With a title alluding to a safe, homely or known place where things have been disrupted and disjointed in curious ways, Inverted House is an immersive installation that responds to Tate Modern’s building and the structures that govern it, as well as the larger themes that link both institutions within an international context. It brings together a number of new works on paper and a range of different architectural elements – fabricated from tactile and evocative materials including wood, fabric and concrete – to address the wider complexities and idiosyncrasies of social systems and everyday realities, as well as the building works that currently characterise Tate Modern’s exterior.

Addressing themes of temporality and impermanence – with a tent-like canopy that hovers above the space and a wall mural that will exist only for as long as the exhibition does – it is an exploration of the ties between a local and international context, the artist residency format and the collaborative nature of the Project Space series itself.

The constructed space of Inverted House serves as an exercise in mimicry where an echo of an older space resurfaces in the new, or vice versa. The deconstructed wall-like structures, recalling the colour schemes of museum walls that date from another time, suggest that they may have previously been part of a more coherent building, suddenly shattered and turned into a disjointed space. The gallery is partly sheltered by a tent that stretches across it, adding to the overall feeling of temporality and uncertainty, whilst a concrete vitrine holds works on paper which relate to processes of building and making. A large mural acts as both a work in itself and a backdrop for the installation, whilst a series of small-scale works on paper are placed in clusters on different structures. These combine and focus on images from nature and its unpredictability, traces of conflict and violence, technological waste and abstract danger. The chairs are arranged in a ‘forum’ format, inviting the audience to use them and engage in a form of a dialogue.

The interior of the Project Space is a temporary context: a micro space which deals with the personal and geopolitical results of instability, disintegration of solid ground and dependence upon fragile states. It is a type of space that is caught between being disrupted and regulated, a place that is slowly growing into something. It is a portrait of activity taking place on a global scale, where the qualities of line and brush strokes in the paintings become metaphors for shifting angles, shattered places and buildings, and an actual geo-political condition.

Curated by Hannah Dewar, Tate Modern and Una Popović, Museum of Contemporary Art, Belgrade. This exhibition is the result of a collaboration between Tate Modern, London and the Museum of Contemporary Art, Belgrade.

Works in vitrine:
Deposits and Sediments (vitrine, concrete and perspex 65 x 70 x 280 cm)

Works on paper:
Tina Gverović, Parastates, 2013, 30 gouache on prepared paper, 270 x 350 mm. Shown as part of Inverted House, 2013. Tate Modern Project Space, London (Photo: Tate)

Text on the wall (Read):
Without Delay, Shown as part of Inverted House, 2013 at Tate Modern Project Space, London (Photo: Ben Cain)