Rosie McGinn: Get in there
What The Heck? ⚽🏃♀️!
Tate Exchange (5th Floor Tate Modern), London - As part of WHO ARE YA? A week long workshop/event by Tate: Exploring art, identity and football, straight off the back of the world cup.
6-11 August 2019
Ah! The Tate Exchange, a dedicated space for community, activity and exploration through art. I was appropriately chuffed on hearing that Rosie McGinn would be presenting a new and ambitious work 'Get In There', an audience reliant and participation based installation consisting of hundreds of personalised 'fans'. But what the bloody hell has football got to do with FINE art? (Spits out flat white all over cashmere turtle neck in disgust).
I thought I should better get myself 'in there' and see what it was all about. If going off of the rest of McGinn's works was anything to go by, 'Who Are Ya' was going to be outrageously unserious but socially poignant. Not too long ago I popped over to Art Lacuna where the artist had turned the gallery space into a miniature olympic ice rink for a couple of vacuum hoover robots to spin around in propping up some Torvill and Dean dolls. No, you didn't read that wrong, it really happened. McGinn has also created a variety of time-based media, made up of appropriated footage which can be viewed on Daata, exploring euphoria and escapism. As well as my personal favourite pieces such as 'Gazza, 2019' and 'Howse, 2018' both of which are giant, moving inflatable/stuffed characters manipulated by simple mechanisms. All of this stuff is quite absurd to witness, at times it hurts my diaphragm.
"Just tell us about the Tate Exchange pal"
The space was filled with things to do and information points, I could hear football whistles and footsteps running around at the back of the room where a class of kids played a game (taking it all very seriously), though along the wall was Who are ya and just opposite sat the artist frantically printing, cutting and sewing new additions to the already trothing installation. I sat down to help put some cartoonish cardboard fans together, a fiddly and tedious process which really put the entirety of the work into worrying perspective. As I hole-punched, sewed and threaded I realised I had been chatting with some strangers for a while about who knows what, football stuff, ears and travelling. Slowly but surely the pile of requests grew larger and larger as more people wanted to have their very own mug printed and animated to go up on the wall.
I soon decided it was time for some lunch as my arts and crafts abilities seemed to deplete fairly heavily all of a sudden about 10 minutes in, a good chance to ask Rosie some questions about the exhibition and process.
Hello again-again... How has it been here at the Tate Exchange?
It’s been quite intense, but it’s been really fulfilling. Especially making the football fans with the kids, and them seeing themselves come out of the printer. I’ve really liked the interactive element, it’s been really good. It feels very different to my other stuff.
What is it about football that attracts you to make artwork about it?
Because I grew up around football, I always saw it as being about highs and lows, the cycle of highs and lows. Like your team winning then your team losing. Me and my dad are big Man United fans and we would go and watch local games, Gillingham and Charlton, so I would always used to look at the crowd because it was always full of guys shouting like the worst thing I ever heard and I thought it was hilarious, it was like this expulsion of emotion from loads of blokes which is quite interesting. I think football's quite rich