Insight article

Remarks on color

Tucked into the Tate Modern’s fifth floor collections is a video installation by Gary Hill (1951) called Remarks on Color (1994). The piece depicts Hill’s young daughter Anastasia reading from the 20th century philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein’s book of the same name.

Hill asked Anastasia to read the text aloud without stopping, regardless of whether she understood the concepts or was familiar with the words. Often her pronunciation and inflection render the difficult work absurd. The piece is both surprisingly hypnotic and spookily reminiscent of what goes on inside organisations when supervisors and employees try to convey words provided to them by senior management or the corporate communication function. Quick, grab the Crayolas and let’s try again.

Nailia Tasseel