Superflex Selected for Tate Modern’s 2017 Hyundai Commission

Tate Modern and Hyundai Motor Company have announced that the Danish collective Superflex, known for producing pieces that offer humorous perspectives on contemporary social and cultural issues, has been chosen to undertake this year’s Hyundai Commission for Turbine Hall.

Founded by artists Bjørnstjerne Christiansen, Jakob Fenger, and Rasmus Nielsen in 1993, Superflex often challenges the confines of the exhibition space. In 2010, they asked visitors to London’s Science Museum to dress up in cockroach costumes in order to experience its galleries from the shell of an insect species more than three hundred million years old. In the April 2014 issue of Artforum, Lars Bang Larsen wrote: “Hovering at the limits of art, Superflex’s projects—referred to as ‘tools’ by the group—oscillate between activism and a cunning, if not necessarily shocking, flippancy.”

In contrast to some of the collective’s more surreal work is its 2017 installation Hospital Equipment—comprising functional surgical instruments—which was displayed at Galerie von Bartha‘s space in eastern Switzerland before being shipped to a hospital in a conflict zone in Syria. A curatorial statement about the exhibition said that the work provokes “the will of the individual mind to make direct change in the world we are living.”

Frances Morris, director of Tate Modern, said, “Their work raises timely questions about the role of the artist in contemporary society, exploring how we interpret and engage with the increasingly complex world around us. I can’t wait to see how they tackle these themes within the unique scale and public context of Tate Modern’s Turbine Hall.”

Opening on October 3, the exhibition will be curated by Donald Hyslop, head of regeneration and community partnerships; Synthia Griffin, curator of regeneration and community partnerships; and assistant curator Valentina Ravaglia. It will be accompanied by a new book from Tate Publishing.