Late at Tate: 1840 BP Remix, in GIF form

Hoards of art lovers witnessed BP’s insignia interfering with great works of art at February’s Late At Tate event.

Tate called its event a “GIF party” – and Liberate Tate’s GIFs were noticeably the life and soul. After receiving an open invitation from Tate to submit GIFs for its mass participatory GIF animation collage installation we sent in 16 to be displayed. Our BP-infused work flashed across a cluster of cathode-ray TV sets (a nod to the retro-cool of GIFs, perhaps) that littered the floor of the 1840s gallery. Many party-goers commented on the quantity of BP logos tumbling across the TV screens, and we noted that spectators watching BP’s logo bust out of baby Sidney Well’s head were particularly entertained.

Each of our submissions remixed paintings from the 1840s room with a creative BP-critique and Liberate Tate’s performances that have taken place in Tate galleries over the past four years. The GIF party room itself was the site of our most recent performance, Parts Per Million.

To its credit, Tate showed all our work. But we couldn’t help but notice how some of our GIFs had more prominence than others – blink and you could have missed the more explicit explosive treatments. The Lady with a Dove, for example, flashes only momentarily as she participates in Liberate Tate’s All Rise performance, standing before a glowing Deepwater Horizon disaster. In other GIFs her dove is engulfed by BP’s brand and she cradles its broken, oily body – a reminder of the sea life destroyed by BP’s disasters.

Our GIFs are a creative visual representation of what BP’s sponsorship looks like when it’s layered, like an oil slick, onto Tate’s art. Scroll down to see them all…