What's your favourite Pet Shop Boys song? Personally I have a soft spot for What Have I Done To Deserve This? Their 1987 Dusty Springfield featuring oddball pop almost hit. West End Girls would be another good shout. But Wolfgang Tillmans, it seems, favours It's A Sin. And well, that's a pretty good shout too. The lead single off the group's 1987 album Actually, the song details Neil Tennant's education at a Catholic boys school in Newcastle, and is undoubtedly one of the biggest and boldest pop songs to rise to the top of the charts.
As part of Wolfgang's almost-retrospective at the Tate Modern, taking in the last 14 years of his work, he's organising a series of events in the gallery's South Tank. And one of the highlights is a four long deconstruction of the Pet Shop Boys banger. Breaking it down to all of its individual 30 tracks, and building it back up to a glorious whole.
That is of course, not all. Between Friday the 3rd of March and Saturday the 11th, Wolfgang will transform the gallery's South Tank into a magical celebration of sound and vision, light and music, and it is all totally, 100% free. The series of events reflects the photographer's renewed focus on music as a form of expression. Over the last 18 months he's returned to music, releasing two electronic EPs under his own name, that feature the music he was making as a teenager in Germany alongside new compositions. He also released a mini-album as frontman of a band called Fragile.
The opening night of his South Tank project will feature that band, with Wolfgang taking to the stage with musical collaborators Tim Knapp, Jay Pluck and Juan Pablo Echeverri. The series of events also highlights the importance of collaboration to Wolfgang's practice, and celebrates the many creative contemporaries and co-conspirators the artist has made over the years.
Throughout the installation's during, outside of the scheduled performances, viewers are free to come and go and experience the constantly mutating installation that brings together music, field recordings, light and video works.
The installation is free to visit during gallery opening hours, from 10.00 to 18.00 daily and until 22.00 on Fridays and Saturdays. Evening performances from 20.00 are free with visitors encouraged to arrive early to ensure entry.
Fri 3 Mar, 20.00: FRAGILE
Sun 5 Mar, 13.30-17.30: The 30 tracks that make 'It's a Sin' by Pet Shop Boys
Wed 8 Mar, 20.00: Lori E. Allen and Thomas Brinkmann
Fri 10 Mar, 20.00: Othon featuring Wolfgang Tillmans
Sat 11 Mar, 20.00: Throwing Shade andWreck & Reference
Text Felix Petty