One Two Three Swing!

Danish art collective Superflex is widely known for their radical project Superkilen, a kaleidoscopic public park in Nørrebro in Copenhagen, filled with surreal sights including an elephant slide from Chernobyl, swings from Iraq and exercise gear from LA’s Muscle Beach.

A riotous mass of symbols and colours, this half-mile stretch lights up one of the city’s most diverse neighbourhoods and it was perhaps this ambitious, inclusive project that pre-shadowed Superflex’s latest monumental new installation inside Tate Modern’s cavernous Turbine Hall in London.

The Turbine Hall commission is bestowed on a rarefied few art world luminaries, and it can be a tricky prospect to interpret, as six million visitors pass through the unwieldy 35,520 square foot ramped space in the six-month time scale of each installation Tate displays.

In many ways, the Turbine Hall is the kind of awkward, social space that is brilliantly suited to Superflex’s expansive imagination: “It is actually designed as a street, so in that sense it’s not a building, a closed space, it’s more like a square or a train station,” explains Christiansen. “We really got fascinated by that. We wanted to challenge the building, to break out of the Turbine Hall.”

Naturally for this collaborative collective, they’re going to require the participation of the public to really set the audacious idea they’ve conceived into action: One Two Three Swing!, an exhibit that sees the hall being transformed into a kind of vast, sci-fi playground of three-person swings at different heights, allowing visitors to fly back and forth through the air – with a specific purpose: “The floor will be a gigantic, colourful carpet and above that will be the world’s biggest hanging weight – a pendulum more than two metres in diameter. The idea is that when many people swing together, we can potentially move the planet out of its course,” explains Christiansen, perfectly deadpan; like much of Superflex’s work, it delivers a weighty message with a playful streak.