Picked up the rather handsome exhibition catalogue too.
I will say that at the weekends it gets busy, even with timed ticketing, which makes it difficult to stand back and view the images from an appropriate distance. Otherwise a good survey of his output to date.
1. If you're going at the weekend, book online and choose your entry time. I checked online on Saturday evening and there were slots available all throughout Sunday. So we decided we didn't need to commit to a particular time, which suited us fine. Got there around lunchtime on Sunday, to discover that they were very nearly sold out and the only entry time still available was 5pm.
2. The "supporter" ticket costs £1.50 extra but for reasons I totally don't understand it counts as a donation which means it qualifies as gift aid. (Not just the £1.50 supplement; the whole lot. That's the bit I don't understand.) So if you're a higher rate tax payer, it actually works out cheaper to buy the more expensive ticket. Bizarre. My wife is a higher rate tax payer so we decided it was her treat for me.
Anyway the exhibition itself is very nicely staged. Lots of space around the huge prints. Plus, although it was supposedly sold out (or at least nearly so for the 5pm slot), it didn't feel incredibly busy. None of this having to peer over other people's shoulders that you unfortunately get at some exhibitions. I think the Hayward are probably doing a canny job of managing the numbers.
If I have one complaint about the staging of the exhibition its that they've gone for a very minimalist look so that the labels giving the titles and descriptions of the works are very unobtrusive - which means, in some cases, hard to find and hard to read! But that's a minor quibble.
I'm up for a discussion of Gursky's work, but I'm not sure whether it would be a good idea in this thread - it would get in the way of practical information for those who might want to visit themselves. Shall we have another thread for that?
Interesting that: on the weekend me and three friends went, even though we split up and each viewed at our own pace, we all found we had to do plenty of peering-over-shoulders and waiting-for-people-to-move to view a lot of the works. There may well be plenty of space around the huge prints, but there were also plenty of people standing in that space. Then again, hour-time-slot ticketing can't always be relied upon to keep things running smoothly if a busload turn up at once, or people decide to linger. Perhaps it was down to it being the first weekend of the exhibition, the huge queues for the ticket desks and that they were letting people in without scanning tickets. I may go see it again before it closes as it's only a short walk from where I work.
Agree with you about the labelling though: they didn't seem to stick to a particular format, with some placed obviously by the relevant work, and others not so.
Completely un-primed, my wife said exactly the same thing. It was the 'Rave' image that started it, where we found a couple of guys that had been included at least twice with different poses and clothing recoloured.
I have to think that there's a certain amount of that involved. In fact he's actually hiding under the steps in Rhine II. It would be interesting to know how seriously some of these artists and Gursky in particular takes the things that they write/are written about their work.
Glad I went, and glad I saw Rhine II. Shame the day went after father Noah when we came out.
Am I the only one who thinks that Gursky's major talent seems to be in marketing? Or am I some sort of photographic heathen as I just don't get most of his images? I certainly can't understand why Gursky's work is worth so much. To me they just look like giant snapshots. A very few of his images I really like, but I've seen as good on Flickr. Rhine II is probably the most boring photographic image I have ever seen exhibited. The horizon is even not completely level. But then, I don't "get" most modern art either.