Press Release / Media Advisory 4 July 2012
Liberate Tate ‘The Gift’ to take place Saturday 7 July 2012
Art collective Liberate Tate (www.liberatetate.org), known internationally for their provocative, unsolicited artworks on the relationship of cultural institutions with oil companies, are issuing a call for the public to participate in their next performance this Saturday, 7 July 2012.
Previous Liberate Tate performance interventions that have been featured on BBC and Channel 4 News as well as the front pages of the Financial Times and the Guardian include:
- disrupting a Tate Summer Party celebration of BP support with an oil spill gushing from under the dresses of two invitees.
- pouring oil over a naked man in the middle of Tate Britain.
- pouring oil from BP-branded eggs over the plinth of an Easter Island statue in the British Museum
Saturday’s performance comes at a time when BP sponsorship of the arts is again the subject of critical attention. In the last two weeks celebrated actor and playwright Mark Rylance has in the last two weeks spoken on both the Radio 4 Today programme and the BBC1 Marr show against the involvement of BP in the Olympics, while the theatre group Reclaim Shakespeare Company has carried out guerrilla performances before the start of BP-sponsored plays at the Camden Roundhouse and the Riverside Theatre.
On Saturday 7 July 2012 the Liberate Tate collective promise a unique experience in a performance at a new location. People that have signed up to text message service with their mobile phone number will receive information about the location of the performance on Saturday morning.
Sharon Palmer of Liberate Tate said: “Cultural institutions are being used by oil companies to greenwash their destructive drilling in places like the Arctic, Canada and the Niger Delta. In a time of climate crisis, gallery goers should not be made to feel that they are legitimising the planet-trashing activities of massively disreputable oil companies. This performance by Liberate Tate is part of mounting pressure on public arts institutions to ensure they are financed responsibly, transparently and ethically, for the good of the art world and the planet. We invite everyone to come and take part in creating an artwork we are calling ‘The Gift’ “.
This year Tate, one of the art galleries receiving payments from oil companies, confirmed that it has received more representations raising concerns about BP sponsorship than any other issue since the oil company became linked with the gallery in 1990. Thousands have called for Tate to disengage from BP due to the devastating impacts that BP has around the world to ecosystems, communities and the climate.
For comment or info contact email@example.com / 07847 830164
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Note to editors
- People can sign up now to receive the text message with information on the day at http://liberatetate.wordpress.com/the-gift/
- Liberate Tate one minute promotional video on The Gift viewable on YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cGNnT3JZv2M.
- Liberate Tate (www.liberatetate.org) is an art collective exploring the role of creative intervention in social change dedicated to taking creative disobedience against Tate until it drops its oil company funding. Contact: mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org twitter www.twitter.com/liberatetate / @liberatetate blog http://liberatetate.wordpress.com/.
- Liberate Tate previous works include performances such as:
• ‘Human Cost’: a performance in Tate Britain on the anniversary of the Deepwater Horizon explosion (April 2011) when a naked member of the group had oil poured over them on the floor in the exhibition Single Form dedicated to the human body and part of ‘BP British Art Displays’. Video here.
• ‘Dead in the water’: a contribution to Tate Modern 10th Birthday celebrations (May 2010) by hanging dead fish and birds from giant black helium balloons in the Turbine Hall.
• ‘Licence to spill’: an oil spill at the Tate Summer Party celebrating 20 years of BP support (June 2010) – Video here.
• ‘Crude/Sunflower’: an installation artwork which saw over 30 members of the collective draw a giant sunflower in the Turbine Hall with black oil paint bursting from BP-branded tubes of paint (September 2010) – Video here.
- Over 8,000 people signed an Open Letter to Nicholas Serota about BP (online here http://liberatetate.wordpress.com/open-letter-to-nicholas-serota/).
- For more on oil and arts sponsorship see the recent publication by Liberate Tate, Platform and Art Not Oil, ‘Not If But When: Culture Beyond Oil’ available to read online here: http://platformlondon.org/p-publications/culutr/