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Aldo Tambellini at Tate Modern

View of “Aldo Tambellini: Retracing Black,” 2012, The Tanks, Tate Modern, London. Photo: Lucy Dawkins.

THE CHOICE OF VENUE could not have been more perfect. The huge, unlit, cylindrical spaces of the Tate Tanks seem to call for an artist whose preferred shape is the circle and whose key motif is darkness or, to be more precise, blackness, in all its forms and with all its connotations. Neither white cubes nor black boxes, the Tanks project a spirit of “activity” that is equally apposite here: Aldo Tambellini has been a media artist since the early 1960s, and his use of video, film, and slide projections has always been about environmental manipulations and sensorial onslaught, not about presentation per se. His work is concerned with physical forces, not images. But those physical forces are deployed in ways that open onto questions of social forces. Ultimately, his artistic strategy is one that works to expose a troubling ethics of the image and of imagining or picturing as a

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