Emergency services have been called to Tate Modern after a number of visitors were unable to escape from a retrospective of the artist MC Escher.
‘I have been up and down these stairs for three days now,’ complained one man, ‘but I always seem to end up where I began.’
Another visitor is believed to be lost within an infinite loop of hyperbolic tessellations, while a family of three is currently being held hostage by a pair of self-drawing hands.
‘Escher can be a dangerous artist to look at,’ said Tate Director Nicholas Serota, ‘and it is all too easy for people to become caught up within his seemingly impossible constructions. I fear that the weight of paradox has caused the exhibition to reach a state of critical mass and collapse in on itself trapping the visitors within.’
An initial rescue attempt was abandoned after emergency services broke in through a side window only to find themselves looking in on themselves breaking out. A later attempt was also confounded when a helicopter rescue team lowered a ladder onto the roof but were hampered when the ladder led nowhere, endlessly looping back round on itself.
‘This is all very confusing,’ said head of Rescue Services Commander Henry Polkinghorne. ‘We do have a map of the exhibition, but it doesn’t help much since whichever way you hold it, it always seems to be upside down or back to front.’
The situation is further complicated because the visitors are believed to be trapped within one of three independent gravity wells, each of which is orthogonal to the other two. ‘None of this makes any sense’, said Commander Polkinghorne, ‘and it’s hurting my head.’
As the crisis continues, the trapped visitors are being counselled by an emergency neuroscientist who is standing outside the exhibition with a loud hailer explaining how they are all the victims of a complex cognitive illusion.
‘Personally, I find the endless inter-dimensional paradoxes of Escher to be both contrived and derivative,’ said art critic Brian Sewell, as he waited to be rescued from within a reflecting glass sphere that he was somehow still holding.