2015, Tate Britain, National Portrait Gallery, Royal Opera House, British Museum.
Bodies uttering text in formation
The artists stand in formation; migrant birds on the wing, people in search of a better future.
This live durational reading of the Fifth Assessment Synthesis Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change is an unsanctioned performance by Liberate Tate.
As we bring the document to life, we will be moving through significant cultural spaces, connecting them within the fabric of this key text for the UN climate negotiations in Paris later this year.
Our words spill into this space like oil. We utter a stain; a slick black trail traced through spheres of art and history. It’s a gestural embodiment of the BP oil money invested in the cultural estate. Sponsorship money that artwashes the oil giant’s image and grants its social license to operate.
This oil trail leads our performance intervention from Tate, through the National Portrait Gallery and the Royal Opera House to the British Museum where these four leading cultural institutions decided to take funding from oil giant, BP. Small sums made to look large. In 2016 these sponsorship deals are due to expire; so our performing bodies rotate in formation like dystopic clockwork, echoing the bureaucracy of decision-making and deal breaking.