Review 2013: Not The Doctor: Palle Nielsen's The Model.

Art At Tate Liverpool until 2 February 2014 and running concurrently with the Art Turning Left exhibition is this ground floor display commemorating Palle Nielson's 1968 experiment in which the Moderna Museet in Stockholm was transformed into an adventure playground with children playing, largely unsupervised, with jungle gyms, climbing ropes, water chute, foam rubber ‘diving pool’, theatrical costumes, carnival masks, LPs, turntables and swings. The aim was to observe how the children interacted and how their behaviour reflected on social structures, a kind of live action Lord of the Flies without quite the same amount of isolation. Or murder. Although the Tate did investigate recreating the experiment, modern health and safety implications, logistics and insurance led them to focusing on the presentation of archive materials which includes a reconstruction of "the model" based on slides and the artist's memory, a slide show of images, advertising and magazine articles, tv coverage, the actual LPs whose sound is available to listen to digitally and a mass of archive material from Nielson's own collection.  At the press view, curator Stephanie Straine explained to me that most of the injuries sustained were the likes of sprained ankles.  Watching young children playing with real saws or swinging across unsupported frames, there's a clear sense of what's been lost as fear has led society to isolate youngster from minor danger or from this kind of activity at all.  Doesn't it look like it was tremendous fun?



Child’s Play: Toying with the White Cube. Frieze Magazine. Issue 51. March-April 2000.

Lars Bang Larsen "The Mass Utopia of art activism" from the publication "Palle Nielsen. The model. A model for a qualitative society" (.pdf)

A model for a qualitative society Text written by Palle Nielsen for the catalogue Modellen. En modell för ett kvalitativt samhälle, Moderna Museet, Stockholm, 1968.



The International Shakuhachi Society: Musical Anthology of the Orient, Unesco Collection Vol 4

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