Where: Tate Britain, Millbank SW1
When: Saturday 29 January 2011
Time of Tour: Anytime you like, say from late lunchtime onwards? (Tate is open 10am to 6pm)
Post Tour Meet-up (optional for people free and feeling sociable): from 5pm - location nearby tbc (probably Morpeth Arms)
Visiting Tate Britain information www.tate.org.uk/britain/information
PLEASE SEND THIS INVITATION ON / PROMOTE THIS EVENT TO ANYONE YOU THINK YOU WILL BE INTERESTED (this information online here: http://bit.ly/fRrHDU)
"A self-guided tour is a self-governing tour where one navigates a route oneself as opposed to an escorted tour where a tour guide directs the route, times, information, and places toured" (Wikipedia)
Twenty years ago Tate began to publicly support the oil company BP.
For a secret fee BP is associated with Tate and great art, part of the corporate's need to generate a 'social license to operate' and create a perception of it making a positive contribution to society. Unfortunately, through this sponsorship arrangement, Tate has become complicit in taking the world to runaway climate change and other negative social impacts around the world.
Whilst Tate as a single organisation receives monies from BP, of the four museums that make up Tate, the oil company is presented as being most closely associated with Tate Britain, 'the home of British art from 1500 to the present day'.
This 'Tate: Art and Oil' Self Guided Tour is an opportunity to view the art works that Tate has linked to Big Oil. These are largely made up of the Collection Displays at Millbank. In 1990/91 BP bought its way into what was then called the Tate Gallery and it has continued its presence there through the renaming as Tate Britain in 2000 right until today (but, hopefully, not for too much longer!).
When you arrive at Tate Britain make your way around the displays which feature selections from the Tate collection of British art. Whilst in broadly chronological order, rooms have specific themes or focus on one artist. The displays change annually 'in order to show the full riches of the collection' and it is this re-hanging that BP sponsorship is promoted as being centred on. That way BP claims: "We provide access for millions of people to see, enjoy and learn from a wonderful, ever-changing selection of the gallery's exceptional collection of art works."
For more information about BP British Art 1500 - 2010 Displays see: http://www.tate.org.uk/servlet/CollectionDisplays?venueid=1&showid=3021
There is also currently a BP-linked special exhibition 'Romantics' in the Clore Gallery of 'Romantic art in Britain, its origins, inspirations and legacies'. See:
Just look for the BP logos (they even start outside the gallery!). Have a very enjoyable and stimulating visit to Tate Britain!
This tour marks the first anniversary of 'Disobedience Makes History', a workshop on arts and activism commissioned by Tate which led to the formation of Liberate Tate when curators insisted no interventions could be made against the art museum's sponsors. None had been planned yet the workshop participants refused this censorship and ended the workshop with a co-created intervention on arts sponsorship by oil companies. Participants decided to continue working together.
Liberate Tate is an art activist collective exploring the role of creative intervention in social change. We aim to free art from the grips of the oil industry primarily focusing on Tate, the UK's 'leading' art museum, and its sponsorship deal with