Tag Archives: Turbine Hall

Time Piece

On 13 and 14 June CCW Reader Hayley Newman participated in Liberate Tate’s performance/installation/occupation in the Tate Turbine Hall called Time Piece. Liberate Tate is a network founded in 2010 and dedicated to taking creative disobedience against Tate until it drops its oil company funding.

Liberate Tate described the work as, ‘…a durational performance using words, bodies, charcoal and sustenance. The performance takes place from High Tide on 13.06.15 (11:53am) until High Tide on 14.06.15 (12:55pm). A textual intervention, Time Piece is a tide of stories and narratives flowing in waves up the slope of Tate Modern’s Turbine Hall. The texts are fictional and factual responses to art, activism, climate change and the oil industry. The performance explores lunar time, tidal time, ecological time, geological time and all the ways in which we are running out of time: from climate change to gallery opening hours; from the anthropocene to the beginning of the end of oil sponsorship of the arts.

Liberate Tate creates unsanctioned live art inside Tate spaces to free Tate from BP. In 2015, it was revealed that BP sponsorship is worth less than half a percentage of Tate annual spending, and is around forty times less than the sum donated by Tate Members last year. BP’s oil spills are ecological iconoclasms. The company’s presence in galleries and museums is a stain on our culture. When will BP’s time be up at Tate? As the age of oil draws to a close and the world looks towards the Paris Climate Summit to tackle climate change, Tate must step into the future and drop BP. #TimePiece

One of the texts used was Newman’s publication, Common, ‘a novella set in the City of London over the summer of 2011. Written in the run-up to Occupy, it encompasses a crash in global markets caused by the downgrading of American debt, turbulence in the Eurozone and protests/riots that started in London before spreading across Britain. Written as Self-Appointed Artist in Residence, events in Common take place over a day. The book brings together the past and present/personal and political and asks; how can lay people understand more about the current economic crisis? How might subjectivity and political agency be combined to create a text that is both immediate and reflective? How might we make sense of crisis from within? What is the impact of the economy on the environment? Common is a metaphor for collapse (social, environmental and economic).’

Up Hill Down Hall at Tate Modern

Professors in TrAIN and joint University Chairs of Black Art and Design, Sonia Boyce and Paul Goodwin, in collaboration with Senior Lecturer Anne Eggebert and Pathway Leader Stephen Carter of the BA Fine Art XD Pathway at Central Saint Martins, recently completed a project with Fine Art students from CSM. Students and staff worked in collaboration with independent curator Claire Tancons to produce The Sky is Dancing, an action which engaged the central spaces of Tate Modern’s Turbine Hall as part of Tancons’ Up Hill Down Hall: An indoor carnival, a new performance commission that offered critical and artistic perspectives on Carnival. The students from the XD Pathway at CSM also worked with the commissioned artists for Up Hill Down Hall to assist in the production of works for the performances as well as creating works themselves.  The Sky is Dancing was been inspired by extensive student research into the socio-political history of the Notting Hill Carnival and the politics of space and location. Their interventions responded to wider critical debates about public art and ceremonial practices that have influenced and been influenced by Carnival as a cultural and artistic form. The students produced over 2,000 paper helicopters that spun through the air, each one linking an artwork to their website.

Carter spoke about the collaboration, saying, ‘In various ways [the students] were able to contribute to the project – by helping a commissioned artist, by helping with the preparation and staging of the event, by developing their own project (individually and in collaboration). The event at the Turbine Hall on Saturday 23 August was the culmination of research, site visits, discussion and tests and was an amazing experience for all concerned. It is not too much to say that it was a life-changing and empowering experience.

The project has not ended there. We are continuing to have regular weekly sessions to reflect on the experience and to plan ahead, to continue to discuss the significance of carnival and its place within current art discourse. There will be a display in a vitrine at CSM Kings X set up from 17 September 2014 for one month. This will make the project known to the wider CSM community of students and staff. There will also be a Curating Carnival event staged in “The Street” at CSM in January 2015. The collaboration of the various participants – from Claire Tancons through to the commissioned artists, to the Tate team, to the UAL professors and CSM staff and students has been marked by amazing energy, enthusiasm, generosity and creativity.’

Speaking about their role as joint Chairs of Black Art and Design, Boyce said, ‘It’s about building on the huge knowledge base around Black Art and Design practices that already exists within and across UAL. The main ambition is for the wider discussions and practices around Black Art and Design to become commonplace within the learning environment. We see our role as facilitators, to bring artists, curators, thinkers and practices into the everyday mix of the cultural life here at UAL.’

The event was documented with a short film of the performance as well as an article in The Guardian mentioning the students’ involvement in helping the artists, while Catherine Wood, Curator Contemporary Art and Performance at Tate, said of The Sky is Dancing, ‘It was one of my favourite ever moments in the Turbine Hall. It worked really beautifully with the setting, the crowd and the music, transforming the whole atmosphere temporarily.’ The event was also reviewed in ARC Magazine.