National Gallery

PRESS RELEASE: Tate decline offer of 16.5m wind turbine blade artwork

This post comes to you from EcoArtScotland

Reblogged from Liberate Tate Blog:

Art collective raises questions over John Browne’s conflict of interest as ex BP CEO

Tate Trustees have decided not to accept ‘The Gift’, a 16.5m wind turbine blade, as part of its permanent art collection.

‘The Gift’ was installed in Tate Turbine Hall in an unofficial performance on 7 July, involving over 100 members of Liberate Tate, the group that has made headlines for dramatic artworks relating to the relationship of public cultural institutions with oil companies.

The artists submitted official documentation (see below) for the artwork to be a gift to the nation ‘given for the benefit of the public’ under the provisions of the Museums and Galleries Act 1992, the Act from which Tate’s mission is drawn.

The refusal of the offer comes despite the fact that more than a thousand people signed a petition started by a Tate member calling on Nicholas Serota and the Tate board to accept the artwork and return the blade to the Turbine Hall for public viewing.

Informing Liberate Tate of its decision, Tate stated the reason being that: “in line with the current strategy, commitments and priorities for the Collection and the size of the object in relation to existing pressures on collection care – the offer of The Gift is declined.”

Giving Liberate Tate 7 working days’ notice, Tate also said that if the art collective did not respond by 16 October, it would “recycle” the artwork.

Today, 15 October, Liberate Tate has responded asking Nicholas Serota questions including:

(The full version of Liberate Tate’s response can be found in the Notes).The decision comes at a time when controversial art sponsors have again been in the news. Last week the National Gallery announced that its sponsorship agreement with arms dealer Finmeccanica was ending a year early following on from protests and public pressure.

Sharon Palmer from Liberate Tate said:
“We are not disappointed for us as artists – our future work will continue to be seen at Tate as long as BP is supported by Tate, although we would welcome an early end to our practice – but we are disappointed for what this decision says about the present nature of the institution that is Tate.”

“Recent studies have shown that BP sponsorship of the Olympics managed to improve the public perception of the company, despite the fact that they are continuing to devastate the climate and are pushing ahead with devastating tar sands extraction and arctic drilling. Tate’s relationship with BP is fulfilling the same function in actively helping the oil giant to avoid accountability for countless destructive activities. The Gift is an artwork that celebrates the possibility of real change – for Tate as much for everyone else facing the challenges of the climate crisis.”

The Gift is Liberate Tate’s fourth artwork in the Tate Modern Turbine Hall.

ecoartscotland is a resource focused on art and ecology for artists, curators, critics, commissioners as well as scientists and policy makers. It includes ecoartscotland papers, a mix of discussions of works by artists and critical theoretical texts, and serves as a curatorial platform.

It has been established by Chris Fremantle, producer and research associate with On The Edge ResearchGray’s School of Art, The Robert Gordon University. Fremantle is a member of a number of international networks of artists, curators and others focused on art and ecology.
Go to EcoArtScotland

Powered by WPeMatico

The 2011 Prague Quadrennial will take place in a new space – the Veletržní Palace

Time and place – these two variables have been set for the next Prague Quadrennial (PQ), the largest international event dedicated to stage design, performance, and space. The 12th PQ will take place in the Veletržní Palace (the building of the Czech National Gallery) from June 16th to June 26th, 2011. The Veletržní Palace is only a few hundred meters away from PQ’s previous location, the Industrial Palace within the Prague Exhibition Grounds. In 2011, the functionalist building of the Veletržní Palace become the center of the PQ as it hosts the two main sections – the Section of Countries and Regions and the Student Section. Aside from the expositions, which will be spread on among several floors of the building, there will be a number of lectures and classes, as well as many other events. In addition, the artists will also visit the city center, as many shows, exhibitions, and performances will take place directly in the streets of Prague, on the piazzetta of the National Theatre, or in the building of the Theatre Academy.

”As for the Prague Quadrennial in 2007, there were almost 30,000 visitors and more than 5,000 professionals and students from all over the world. One of our aims for the upcoming PQ therefore was to look for a new place, which would not only correspond to the growing interest of the public, but would also be an important source of impulse for the PQ itself. The connection with the National Gallery offers new context for the Prague Quadrennial, which presents scenography as an artistic discipline between visual and performing arts,“ says Sodja Lotker, the PQ Artistic Director .

The main objective of the PQ is to draw attention to current works of scenographers and architects to the broader public. Apart from the professional aspect, the PQ’s organizers are planning to introduce a number of events meant for the general public and kids. At this moment there are 57 countries signed up to participate in the next PQ. There are a number of traditional PQ participating countries registered, such as the USA, Germany, and Norway, but also countries like India and Kazakhstan. For more detailed information, please go to www.pq.cz/en.

Preparations for the next Prague Quadrennial are already in full swing. Great attention, however, has turned to the new PQ project, the Intersection. It is a unique project combining workshops, symposia, and last but not least, the artistic event itself. The Intersection is clearly the most extensive project of its kind, connecting various fields and genres of contemporary art, related to performance and performance design – theatre itself, dance, art installations, video art, performance, body art, fashion, new media, architecture, and site-specific pieces, among others. As a result of several years of effort, there will be a performance/installation in the Prague city center, where people will be able to see performances throughout the day, or where one can see installations or video art. The importance of this project is not only marked by the participation of 8 other important institutions as Victoria and Albert Museum or Kretakör Theatre Company, but also the fact that the project was awarded the Culture Grant of the European Union, where it succeeded among 296 applications. The first part of the project – the international theoretical symposia took place in Autumn 2009 in Amsterdam and Zurich.

The quintessential element of the PQ program, however, will traditionally be connected to the Section of Countries and Regions. Individual country’s concepts will represent all current stage design directions: the stage, costume, lighting and sound design, etc. and their mutual connections. As in previous years, plenty of space will be also dedicated to the Student Section. Aside from the expositions of particular art schools from around the world, this section will also host the Scenofest – an educational project based in workshops and site-specific performances. The question, “what is a theatre now?” will be the main topic of the Architecture Section, which will mainly focus on the diversity of forms of theatre space in the 21st century. This section will not only take spectators from the theatre building to site-specific spaces and all the way to virtual space, also it will also create dialog among architecture, scenography, and contemporary performance.

The three main competitive sections of the Prague Quadrennial, where participating countries and artists may win the main prize, the Golden Triga, as well as other awards, will be accompanied by several programs meant to address the broadest international public. There will be a new project concerning costumes, a sound and light project, and the traditional PQ for Children project, which will take place directly in the streets of Prague.

The Veletržní Palace is one of the most important functionalist buildings in Prague. Built by Josef Fuchs and Oldřich Tyl, the building was completed in 1928 and was, in its time, highly praised for its size, modern concept, and unusual façade. The six floors of the building served its original purpose until 1939 when it began to be used for many different purposes. Destroyed by fire in 1974, the building was reconstructed in the early 1990s and today it serves as the home of 20th and 21st century art for the Czech National Gallery.

For more information please contact:

Ondřej Kopička

International PR

Prague Quadrennial

M: +420 608 540 360
E: press@pq.cz

The Fourth Plinth: a call to artists

This is my blatant call to artists to use the Fourth Plinth – particularly with respect to bringing fresh ways of exploring social issues in what you could argue is the country’s most central space of debate – Trafalgar Square. I’m not at all sure I want to see myself as the Linda Snell of the RSA but I have a similar yearning for public performance and spectacle – but by artists!

Go to www.oneandother.co.uk and press the “Register your interest” button.

It’s interesting to see that Antony Gormley’s Fourth Plinth project is rapidly becoming a lobbying prospect. The idea of using the plinth as a site for contemporary art was initiated by the RSA , no mean feat as it turned out and we learned a lot about the complexity and the ambiguities of the word “public” with respect to both public space and public art.

William Shaw will shortly be interviewing Bob & Roberta Smith for the website. His idea for the Plinth was shown at the National Gallery last year – very much referencing environmental issues, as does his current work at TATE’s Altermodern exhibition. I went round this yesterday. Bob is having a weekly conversation with the show’s curator Nicholas Bourriard and then makes a new work replacing the previous week’s piece. This latest work addresses climate change and as ever his work debunks – it puts the public into art with no affectation and no patronising – with a directness that is exhilarating.

Go to RSA Arts & Ecology