29 July 2011 - For Immediate release
Selected artists for guerrilla sound art commission announced
‘Tate a Tate’ an audio tour in response to BP-sponsorship of Tate to be launched in Autumn 2011
The artists that will be creating a major new sound installation inside Tate institutions have been announced. ‘Tate a Tate’ is a site-specific audio tour in three parts that addresses the increasingly controversial issue of BP-sponsorship of UK’s premier arts institution. The three conceptually different works are being designed to be experienced in Tate Britain, Tate Modern and on the Tate riverboat that transports people between the two institutions.
The artists that will be working on the project are:
Ansuman Biswas (Tate Britain)
Phil England and Jim Welton (Tate Modern)
Isa Suarez, Mark McGowan and Mae Martin (Tate riverboat)
The announcement of the new work comes at a time when Tate is coming under increasing amounts of criticism for its sponsorship links with the oil giant, with art-interventions on the subject being featured in 2011 on Channel 4 News, the Guardian and on the front page of the Financial Times.
Kevin Smith from arts/activist/research group PLATFORM said:
“The rooms full of amazing art in Tate galleries are creating a disconnect between the discrete little BP sunflower logos, and the horrific impacts that the company has on the climate, and communities and ecosystems around the world. This unsanctioned sound installation inside Tate galleries will provide visitors with a new experience of the presence of BP within those spaces.”
Sheena Swain from art-interventionists Liberate Tate said:
“BP has embarked on its first major advertising campaign since the Gulf of Mexico catastrophe, and it has chosen to feature its sponsorship programme in these adverts instead of its primary product. They are now focusing on advertising their own sponsorship. In the adverts sportspeople are seen in galleries and museums and in one case one of Britain's top athletes is seen running on a pristine beach. BP’s sponsorship of arts institutions like Tate is clearly not an act of philanthropy, it’s a very cheap piece of PR to detract attention away from the devastation it is causing around the world.”
The audio tour, which will be launched in Autumn, will be downloadable from a website onto MP3 players and smart phones. Listeners will be able to move about the Tate galleries and hear this alternative tour. The completion of ‘Tate a Tate’ will be celebrated in a special Liberate Tate performance of the sound works.
The work has been commissioned by the groups PLATFORM, Art Not Oil and Liberate Tate, and has been supported through a crowd funding initiative, through the Artists Project Earth and Network for Social Change foundations and through Arts Council England.
For more info/comment, call 07847 830164 or email email@example.com
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Notes to the editors
PLATFORM (www.platformlondon.org) works across disciplines for social and ecological justice. It combines the transformatory power of art with the tangible goals of campaigning, the rigour of in-depth research with the vision to promote alternative futures. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
Liberate Tate (http://liberatetate.wordpress.com/) 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: email@example.com
Art Not Oil (www.artnotoil.org.uk) encourages artists – and would-be artists – to create work that explores the damage that companies like BP and Shell are doing to the planet, and the role art can play in counteracting that damage. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Ansuman Biswas was born in Calcutta and trained in the UK. He has an international practice encompassing music, film, live art, installation, writing and theatre. He is interested in hybridity and interdisciplinarity – often working between science, art and industry, for instance, or between music, dance and visual art. Ansuman has worked with the Royal Opera House and the National Theatre as well the Guangddong Museum of Modern Dance and the India International Centre. He has shown work at Tate Modern, The South London Gallery, The Whitechapel Gallery, the ICA, the Edinburgh Festival, and also in Johannesburg, San Francisco, New York, Delhi, Rangoon, The Amazon, and even in zero gravity!
Environmental and current affairs journalist Phil England writes for The Independent, New Internationalist, The Ecologist and Variant. Between 2003 and 2009 he produced over 70 hours of radio about climate change for Resonance FM and numerous other radio stations around the globe (archived at www.climateradio.org). Throughout the 1990s he worked for London Musicians Collective where, in 1998, he co-founded the UK's first arts radio station Resonance FM as part of John Peel's Meltdown Festival at the South Bank Centre.
Sound and radio artist Jim Welton has been commissioned by Austrian and Dutch national broadcasters and was selected as artist-in-residence for the Deep Wireless Festival in Toronto in 2007. He has been engaged as a sound designer by The Burns Museum and the Science Museum. He produced a weekly half hour show for Resonance FM entitled The Harmon E Phraisyar Show that ran for five years. Welton is the subject of a documentary by Luke Fowler entitled, “The Way Out”. His musical work - under aliases such as Amos, L Voag and Xentos "Fray" Bentos - includes work with The Homosexuals, Amos & Sarah, Milk From Cheltenham and Die Trip Computer Die.
Isa Suarez is a composer, songwriter, performer and sound-artist. Her work addresses socio-political issues and suggests feelings and atmospheres. Her recent film soundtracks include: Carpe Diem/Canada; Paths Through Utopias/France/UK; Ollie Kepler’s Expanding Purple World/U.K. She has exhibited at The Whitechapel Art Gallery, Tate Britain, South London Gallery, Barbican Arts Centre and shown public and site-specific works in U.K and worldwide: Taxi Voices/Cape 09 Art Biennale/South Africa; Río Platense/Europe, USA, Argentina; And While London Burns, The Human Rights Jukebox, The De-normalize Cell/U.K. She has collaborated with Amnesty International, Etoy, Creative Routes, Transglobal Underground, The Revolutionary Dub Warriors.
Mae Martin is an award-winning Canadian stand-up comedian. Her work is a unique blend of songs and stand up comedy that mines her neurotic visions of the impending apocalypse, her extremely strong feelings about certain celebrities, and her adventures in androgyny. NOW Magazine recently praised her “smart, deadpan observations”, and Xtra Magazine called her “witty and wickedly funny.”
Mark McGowan aka The Artist Taxi Driver, is a British artist working in the expanding field of art and is an associate lecturer at Chelsea College of Art and Design
"McGowan’s work takes the ghost of performance art and uses it to haunt the mass media, and the art world, with their own bad faith." JJ Charlesworth
"Mark McGowan is the pre-eminent performance artist working in Britain today." Will Self.