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PRINT Summer 2019

performance

CROWD CONTROL

Anne Imhof, Sex, 2019. Performance view, Tate Modern, London, 2019. Eliza Douglas. Photo: Nadine Fraczkowski.

IN 1792, Robert Barker, the Irish painter and inventor, exhibited a 360-degree view of London as seen from the roof of Albion Mills, a flour mill roughly five hundred feet west of where Tate Modern now stands. His “panorama” and others like it were technological marvels, popular attractions that rendered sweeping landscapes—both foreign and domestic, historical and contemporary—from the standpoint of an all-seeing visitor, the sublimity of the ungraspable world translated for ready capture by the centered individual. London from the Roof of the Albion Mills triumphed in Leicester Square before touring the Continent.

The panorama—as a machine designed to picture the world for consumption and figure the perceiving subject as the measure of that world—haunted Anne Imhof’s latest work, animating its bodies and making familiar rhythms feel strange. Though the German artist’s piece,

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