17. dec, 2019
''Babel 2001'' by Cildo Meirelles, Tate Modern London
''Babel 2001'', a tower of radios playing at once, addresses ideas of information overload and failed communication. Cildo Meirelles refers to Babel as a 'tower of incomprehension'. Comprising hundreds of radios, each tuned to a different station, the sculpture relates to the biblical story of the Tower of Babel, a tower tall enough to reach the heavens. God was offended by this structure, and caused the builders to speak in different languages. No longer able to understand one another, they became divided and scattered across the earth, and so began all mankind's conflicts.
Babel consists of analogue radios of varying ages, from large valve radios dating from the 1920s, which make up the bottom tiers of the tower, to the smaller mass-produced electronic radios of recent years, which form its summit. By using radios of decreasing size from the floor to the ceiling, Meirelles enhances the sense of the tower's height.