Page last updated at 14:42 GMT, Monday, 30 June 2008 15:42 UK

Runners sprint past Tate art work

Tate Britain
The artist advertised for participants in running magazines

Runners are sprinting past works of art and visitors at the Tate Britain as part of a new exhibition at the venue.

Martin Creed's installation consists of a sprint through the site's neo-classical sculpture galleries every 30 seconds for the next four months.

The 50 runners will be paid 10 an hour to don their running gear and run through the Tate, avoiding visitors.

Denying his work was pretentious Mr Creed said: "This is something to look at, just like a painting."

The artist, who won the Turner Prize in 2001 with the installation, The Lights Going On And Off, said: "It's literally not pretentious because they are not pretending to run."

'Not safe'

Each 12-to-15-second run through the 282ft (86m) gallery is followed by an equivalent pause.

Mr Creed said: "The rest between each runner is the frame that lets you see the running.

Sometimes when you go around museums you feel it's quite a laborious task
Martin Creed

"The regularity of it is very important. That's what makes it easy to look at.

"There's a pattern for you to look at. You'll be sure that they're coming every 30 seconds so hopefully you can enjoy it."

Work No 850 was partly inspired by a five-minute viewing of the catacombs of the Cappuccini monks in Palermo, Italy, when he arrived at the crypt just before closing time.

He said: "I thought 'Why do you have to look at paintings for a long time? Why not look for a second?'.

"Sometimes when you go around museums you feel it's quite a laborious task."

The Wakefield-born artist advertised for participants in running magazines and sports clubs and is still searching for more sprinters.

But energetic visitors will not be encouraged to join in "because it's not safe", he said.


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