Liberate Tate is a collective that formed to take creative disobedience against Tate, to challenge the institution's oil company funding.
The group was founded during a workshop in January 2010 on art and activism, commissioned by Tate. When Tate curators tried to censor the workshop from making interventions against Tate sponsors, even though none had been planned, the participants decided to continue their work together beyond the workshop and set up Liberate Tate.
Liberate Tate have often brought unwanted items into Tate gallery spaces as part of their unsanctioned performances to complicate the presence of BP at Tate. Ten litres of an oily like substance, a naked man covered in oil, and a sudden oily deluge from paint tubes. A 60kg block of Arctic ice, an alternative audio guide, and a 16.5 metre, 3 tonne wind turbine blade. In 2013 they performed the ongoing BP trial in New Orleans through a thousand whispered words placed hauntingly in Tate Modern over the course of a week.
Tate likes to position itself publicly as a forward-thinking institution that takes climate change and human rights seriously as part of its cultural activities, so it seemed particularly incongruous that it should have such an entrenched relationship with a corporate entity like BP.
In March 2016, it was revealed that BP's deal with Tate would not be renewed. After six years, Tate was finally liberated from BP.
However, Liberate Tate will continue its work in other forms and other spaces. Watch this space...
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Parts Per Million, Tate Britain performance by Liberate Tate