Liberate Tate is an art collective that has been exploring the role of creative intervention in social change by making unsanctioned Live Art in Tate gallery spaces since 2010. Their aim, to free art from oil, initially focused on the art museum Tate ending its corporate sponsorship with BP. The creative strategy they used was successful and in March 2016 Tate announced that from 2017 it would no longer receive funding from oil giant BP. In this two hour talk and discussion, members of the collective will show films, share strategies and processes and talk about how they operated both inside and outside the gallery to shift power and transform perceptions.
Liberate Tate seek to free the arts from oil because the oil industry uses its association with institutions to create a guise of social acceptability. The group believe that there should be no cultural sponsorship by oil companies in a time of climate change, and fits within a wider set of politics around decolonising and democratising the museum. Their practice has been at the forefront of a new wave of art-activism that is non-binary in its blending of forms; integrating collaborative creative practice with strategic campaigning goals. Liberate Tate’s performances have registered a global presence in the news and online. Their work is part of a movement of artists and activists who have moved beyond institutional critique, into making unsanctioned artworks that reshape the institution.
Their performances have included spilling oil like substances, installing a 16.5m wind turbine blade in the Tate Modern Turbine Hall, occupying the gallery overnight in a durational performance transcribing texts in charcoal onto the gallery floor, and giving permanent climate tattoos live. For more information visit: liberatetate.org.uk
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