Review of Rachel Harrison’s XLT Footbed at the Tate Modern

Review of Rachel Harrison’s XLT Footbed at the Tate Modern.

Upon First impressions, Harrison’s work was a lot bigger than expected, eye catching in a room full of monochrome. The high rising tower appears to consist of a stack of boxes covered in a plastic type of material. The shiny metallic pastel colours reminding me of  the gel pens you use a child. The work appears to be integrated into the space, Harrison has incorporated the protective barrier into the piece winding the rope around the tower and placing one  of the stands on a step in the tower. At first it appears that someone has messed with the piece then you see the black tape defining the space of the structure.


“XLT Footbed” Rachel Harrison (2013)

The accompanying text says; “Rachel Harrison interoperates elements of a protective barrier into her assemblage, confusing our distinction between the sculpture and the display furniture that surrounds it” – Tate Modern.

The work stands out from the monochrome works around it, due to its colour and hight. The sculpture casts an interesting shadow that is not really consistent with the sculpture itself, the edges are softer and more rounded in contrast to the harsher right angles of the sculpture. The general appearance of the shadow is squatter and less imposing.

The room that Rachel Harrison’s sculpture is exhibited in is entitled ‘Energy and Process: Contemporary Sculpture’ consisting of a selection of international artists using a wide range of materials and everyday objects. Their work explores materiality and raises questions about value. These works include the works of the likes of Eva Rothschild and Haris Epaminoda. A number of these works include the museum’s ‘furniture’ and surroundings as part of the piece. The artists show interest into the methods of display and how this effects how the piece is perceived by the viewer.


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