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Tate Modern is lined with cork in an installation designed by Superflex

London 2/10/2017

From tomorrow onwards, visitors to the "Hyundai Commission: SUPERFLEX: One Two Three Swing!" will be able to walk along a colossal cork installation, presented in the Tate Modern - one of the world's most respected contemporary art institutions. About 5,000 m2 of an innovative cork composite have been applied in Turbine Hall - an iconic space within the museum designed for large-scale projects. The exhibition runs until 2 April, 2018.
This is the largest ever cork installation to be presented in the UK. The work is led by SUPERFLEX, a Danish collective that has become internationally renowned for its interests in urban spaces and the way that art can be used to question society’s authenticity.
Selection of cork for the 3rd edition of the Hyundai Commission - which this year is positioned as an experimentation and leisure space - was mediated by KWY, a multidisciplinary research platform that combines architects, curators and creative artists from various fields, in order to design and support the development of projects.
The challenge posed to Amorim triggered the development of a new cork composite that, unlike previously tested materials, can meet extremely demanding requirements in terms of large-scale impact absorption [predicting falls from a height of 2-3 metres] and resistance to wear and tear [last year's edition, also held in Turbine Hall, received around 3 million visitors].
António Rios de Amorim, Chairman and CEO of Corticeira Amorim, explains that " "The motivation of our R&D teams and the expertise with the material were key to promptly provide the development of a new typology of cork””, adding: "After the Serpentine Gallery Pavilion and the Victoria & Albert Museum, we’re extremely proud to see that cork is once again playing a crucial role in a major cultural event in the UK, this time in the Tate Modern."

The new cork composite is based on an unprecedented combination of natural colour and expanded cork granules. In addition to the aforementioned advantages, it was conceived respecting other requirements of the project, in particular in terms of dimensional stability, waterproofing and resistance to natural sunlight. In addition to extending throughout Turbine Hall, cork also appears outside the Tate Modern, and has also been selected as the main material of the swings - a key element of this exhibition concept, presented by SUPERFLEX.
Since the Tate Modern opened in 2000, Turbine Hall has hosted some of the world's most memorable and acclaimed works of contemporary art, which have been seen by millions of visitors. The way artists have interpreted this vast industrial space has revolutionized public perceptions of contemporary art in the 21st century.
Cork is presented throughout the Hyundai Commission in this unique context, following other iconic architectural projects, such as the Serpentine Gallery Pavilion, designed by the renowned architectural duo, Herzog & de Meuron, and by the fine artist Ai Weiwei. Many leading international creative artists, in partnership with Amorim, have worked with cork in the United Kingdom - such as Jasper Morrison and Amanda Levete, thereby affirming it as a world-class material for the fields of architecture and interior design.