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Last Updated:  Wednesday, 26 February, 2003, 09:33 GMT
Artist ties up Rodin's lovers
The Kiss covered in string
Artist Cornelia Parker took a week to drape string over the figures
Auguste Rodin's sculpture masterpiece The Kiss has been wrapped in one mile of string as part of a modern art exhibition taking over London's Tate Britain gallery.

The marble sculpture of a couple in a heated embrace - once considered too lewd for public view - has been wrapped in twine by Turner-Prize nominated artist Cornelia Parker.

Her addition to the 1886 work is supposed to represent the "claustrophobia of relationships" and capture the "moment of erotic poignancy".

Parker is one of 23 modern artists whose works will be seen around the normally traditional Tate Britain for the next three months as part of the Days Like These exhibition.

The Kiss is normally exhibited at the newer Tate Modern venue, and curators worked with Parker to ensure that the sculpture was not damaged.

The artist spent almost a week wrapping string around the sculpture. It covers the couple's faces and is draped around their bodies.

'Obscene'

"It makes you think about how their heads are bound together and the claustrophobia of relationships, what it's like to be bound to someone else," a Tate spokesman said.

"It also raises awareness of the historical context. When the Kiss was first seen in Britain it was viewed as obscene.

"Now it is not thought to be quite so contentious, but the string highlights that moment of erotic poignancy."

It also made for an interesting combination of different materials, with marble seen as high culture and string low culture, he added.

When The Kiss went on display in the gallery of its owner in Lewes, East Sussex, in 1904, the naked clinch caused such an outcry that it was removed from public view.

Parker's contribution was inspired by Marcel Duchamp, who once criss-crossed a gallery with twine.

She was nominated for the Turner Prize in 1997 and was also behind a controversial collection of crushed brass musical instruments which went on display at the Victoria and Albert Museum in 2001.


WATCH AND LISTEN
The BBC's David Sillito
"This pair has been covered up before... then it was for the sake of decency rather than art"



SEE ALSO:
Return of the prodigal lovers
02 Jun 99 |  Entertainment
Minister attacks Turner art
31 Oct 02 |  Entertainment
The Brits and modern art
12 Oct 01 |  Entertainment


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