The Tate, Planes and Playboy

A Jaguar and a Harrier fighter jet sat and hanging respecitvely in the Tate? Amazing. The 2 fighter planes by Fiona Banner in the central gallery are a must-see. One matt and dusty, like an airfix model, the other stripped, shiney chrome, lying powerless on its back.

"At the time harrier jump jets were at the cutting edge of technology but to me they were like dinosaurs, prehistoric, from a time before words."  – Fiona Banner

My surprise find was a video pice by Gerard Byrne. He took a series of talks published by Playboy in 1963 and dramatised them with dutch actors (of sometimes questionable quality). The original round-table discussion concerned the future and involved Arthur C Clarke, Isaac Asimov, Ray Bradbury and 9 others. It is a document at once of its time and oddly out of it. The seers are almost comically optimistic regarding life as it might be lived two decades thence. They conjure a world of routine space travel, lunar colonies, economic ease and social and sexual freedom.

It's a fascinating piece of work harking back to the Pop Arts hey day when the greatest futurists of the day could be gathered together by Playboy magazine.