Hi, Mom!

To celebrate its 2000 opening in what had been Bankside Power Station, the Tate Modern commissioned several works from Louise Bourgeois.

This is my favorite among them, a spider called Maman.

spider by Louise Bourgeois, from the side spider by Louise Bourgeois, from the side spider by Louise Bourgeois, from above
spider by Louise Bourgeois, from below spider by Louise Bourgeois, from below

The Tate quaintly describes this as 35 feet tall. (For us moderns, that's between ten and eleven metres.) Another page says it's 30 feet tall. Yet another says it's 20 metres tall.

Sorry, I didn't pack a theodolite. Well, it's tall.

What struck me was the resemblance between this Bourgeois work of art and the bits of giant spider that form part of a nakedly capitalist hoarding for Compaq on the way into Heathrow airport. Unfortunately I wasn't able to park and photograph the latter when I spotted it in September '00, and Compaq UK hasn't responded to my polite question about it. If anyone can tell me of a photo of it on the web, I'll link to it; if anyone can send me his or her own photo, I'll very happily post it here, with credit. Please write.

Maman was only going to stay in the Tate Modern till the end of November, year zero. I now (June '01) learn that she and two other Bourgeois spiders are in Manhattan.

spider by Louise Bourgeois

For the francophonically challenged: maman is French for mom, mum, mam, momma, mummy, mammy, mama, ma, etc.


Some links:

Any comments? Corrections? Bouquets? Write to me (Peter Evans), or tell the whole world.

Other snaps


First sellotaped together 22 October 2000. Last fiddled with: 11 October 2003. (I should have used Arachnophilia.)

Valid XHTML 1.0!