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Giant Black Square unveiled at Tate Modern

Performers unveiling Liberate Tate's Black Square

On 6 September, over 100 members and supporters of Liberate Tate carried out an unsolicited performance reinterpreting Kazimir Malevich’s iconic 'Black Square' painting which is currently on display as part of the Malevich exhibition at Tate Modern.

Liberate Tate’s ‘Hidden Figures’ was a reference to Tate’s refusal to disclose information about its controversial sponsorship relationship with BP. In April 2014, the UK’s Information Commissioner ruled that Tate was breaking information law by refusing to remove a series of black squares redacting information about the sponsorship deal in meeting minutes of Tate’s Ethics Committee and Board of Trustees.

‘Hidden Figures’ began with performers unfurling a 64m2 black cloth in Tate Modern's Turbine Hall. The performers gathered around the edges of the giant Black Square and in unison raised the material up into the air, taking turns to enter underneath the material and making a series of shapes and poses while the material settled on top of them. The performance concluded after two hours with all the performers lying silently for 15 minutes underneath Liberate Tate's Black Square.

Tate appeared before the Information Tribunal on 18 September to appeal the ruling that it must remove redactions from its governing body minutes. Earlier this year an infographic was released that said on the information that was currently available, BP’s sponsorship money represented less than half a percent of Tate’s total budget.