Art is often interesting or exciting, and sometimes tremendously moving. It is less common, however, to come across works of art that are genuinely addictive. Tino Sehgal's art is known for its dynamism and interactive nature. These Associations, his latest piece filling the Tate's Turbine Hall, is a fascinatingly engaging work that drags the spectator into it.
Arriving in the huge vaulted room, appreciative of the cool air, it's hard not to be somewhat confused about what's going on. More than 70 people running full pelt towards you is bound to take you aback. But, while standing and watching this shifting human collective, the real nature of the work becomes apparent.
Over the course of an hour and a half I learnt, among other things, about the tremendous feeling of arrival that a picturesque scene gave a woman on a walking holiday, discussed a city's ability to redeem itself after a bad first impression with a girl, and the dawn of the digital community with another man. These Associations is about the communication of experiences, personal experiences but things that are accessible to anyone. The explicit openness of the participants' stories seems somewhat counterbalanced against the choreographed cycle. As the group go through their routine, running, walking, sitting, chanting, they seem somehow inaccessible. Pacing slowly backwards as a group, staring ahead, they seem somewhere far away, in another world. But before much time has past, you're sat chatting casually with someone about the film they made in college.
The space it's in only intensifies the impact of the piece. Standing in the middle of the hall looking towards the other end creates an impressive perspective as the group advance upon you. The size of the room creates a good resonance when they hum or chant, and the wall mounted lighting, which at times plunges you into a sinister darkness, provides a powerful atmosphere.
Given the nature of the piece, you can't help but feel that it couldn't be set in a more appropriate location: in the middle of a tourist-filled London that is currently even busier than usual. Londoners, despite their earphones-in eyes-down approach to manoeuvring around town, thirst for this sort of unexpected interaction.
All around the Tate are office workers on their lunch, grumbling about the seasonal crush, or visitors struggling to find a person who looks approachable enough to ask directions from. But inside is a pre-existing open dialogue for you to just walk in to and be a part of. It's this that makes These Associations such an addictive experience. There's always someone new to talk to, another story to hear, in a way that isn't available anywhere else.
If you go to see this - make that, when you go to see this - be aware that you will almost immediately start planning when you can go again, and which friends you can have the joy of introducing this to. You could quite easily sit watching the movements and interactions for hours on end. A truly fantastic experience that everyone should have at least once.