Posts Tagged ‘Tate Modern’

Climate Rush activists protest at Tate Britain over BP sponsorship

April 20, 2011
Climate Rush activists protest Tate Britain over BP sponsorship

Climate Rush activists protest Tate Britain over BP sponsorship

Climate Rush Tate Britain

Climate Rush Tate Britain

Today (20 April 2011) Climate Rush activists demonstrated outside the Tate Britain, which is sponsored by BP, to mourn those that lost lives, as well as environmental damage resulting from the Deepwater Horizon disaster which began on this day last year.

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The Great BP-Sponsored Tate Modern Sleep In

April 19, 2011

Protesters angry at BP’s failures over the Gulf of Mexico oil spill descend on Tate Modern on Sunday in protest at the gallery’s links with the beleaguered oil giant.

Next Wednesday will see the anniversary of the Gulf spill, and direct action groups London Rising Tide and Art Not Oil are planning a flashmob at Tate Modern to commemorate the disaster.

The group is using Facebook and Twitter to mobilise followers to attend the highly visual protest. Hundreds of people took part in a ‘BP-sponsored sleep-in’ among the art works and visitors of the gallery.

At 2:15PM exactly the participants spontaneously broke from the crowds to don BP branding and fall asleep on the gallery floor.

The protest was to remind Tate members and visitors that the gallery is sponsored by BP, and express a wider concern that sponsorship of the arts helps to distract public attention from the environmental damage the oil
company causes, including the Gulf spill.

The event was aimed at damaging BP’s brand, and comes as the company has mounted a major PR campaign in an effort to deflect criticism around the anniversary of the oil spill. At its annual general meeting, the
company faced an angry coalition of shareholders, campaigners and residents from the Gulf of Mexico and the Canadian tar sands.

Tony Cottee of Rising Tide said: “Sponsorship of galleries such as Tate is one of the most important ways BP tries to buy the public’s acceptance and make people forget about disasters such as the Gulf of Mexico spill. We are here to make sure they don’t get away with it, and to warn Tate that their own reputation is at risk through their association with such a damaged and damaging company.”

He continued: “It’s clear that BP has learnt nothing over the last year. The time has now come for Tate to say, ‘enough is enough’, and break off their relationship with BP once and for all.”

The protest is part of a week of direct action against BP-sponsored cultural institutions, coordinated by groups including London Rising Tide, Art Not Oil, London Climate Camp, Climate Rush and Liberate Tate.

Produced by You and I Films.

Top story What a Disaster (Tuesday 19 April 2011).

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‘Crude’ Oil Painting Protest

September 15, 2010

“Unless we recognise that climate change is a major interest for the public we will forfeit our respect in relation to that public.” — Serota

Oil Painting Protest over BP sponsorship in Tate Modern Turbine Hall
Liberate Tate calls for footprint of art museum to be free from Big Oil.

Tuesday (14 September) art activists from Liberate Tate staged a guerrilla art intervention in Tate Modern, covering the floor of the iconic Turbine Hall with dozens of litres of oil paint in protest at the museum taking sponsorship from BP.

The flash mob-style event was staged a day before a Tate Board of Trustees meeting. Liberate Tate are part of a growing public movement calling on Tate’s governing body to end its sponsorship agreement with the oil company. Tate’s Board of Trustees has decided to review the BP corporate sponsorship.

At 5pm, around 50 figures dressed in black entered the gallery each carrying a BP-branded oil paint tube. In a circle they placed the paint tubes on the floor and each stamped on one, spraying out dozens of litres of paint in a huge burst across the floor. The installation art work, ‘Crude’, was then signed ‘Liberate Tate’ and offered to Tate for its collection.

Blake Williams, a participant in the performance, said: “Ten years ago tobacco companies were seen as respectable partners for public institutions. The Gulf of Mexico oil spill has brought home to an even wider public that the impact of big oil companies like BP on the environment and the global climate makes them equally unethical for an art museum, especially one that purports to demonstrate leadership in response to climate change.”

Tate’s latest annual report (2009/10), released this month, claims “sustainability is a prime consideration throughout Tate’s work”. Tate reduced its energy use and overall carbon emissions last year and makes much of its partnership with the Carbon Trust and that it was a founding signatory to the national 10:10 campaign, launched at Tate Modern, aiming to reduce carbon emissions by 10% in 2010.

Liberate Tate said: “Tate has so far chosen to take a very narrow view of its footprint in relation to climate change and to not yet take into account its formal relationship with Big Oil. At a time when arts institutions wish to demonstrate how central the arts are in bringing social benefits to all and thus deserving of strong public funding, the museum must accept responsibility for its full impact in society.”

“Tate has a sponsor in BP that is engaged in socially and ecologically destructive activities. This is incompatible with Tate’s ethical guidelines, its stated vision in regard to sustainability and climate change, and for maintaining Tate’s reputation. In addition, its mission is undermined if visitors to Tate galleries cannot enjoy great art without the museum making them complicit in creating climate chaos. We call on the governing body to recognise this and end Tate’s relationship with BP.”

Earlier this year Liberate Tate issued an open invitation for artists, art lovers and other concerned members of the public to act to ensure that Tate ends its oil sponsorship by the end of 2011 ahead of Tate Modern’s expansion into its cleaned out underground oil tanks.

“You don’t abandon your friends because they have a temporary difficulty.” – Nicholas Serota, Tate Director

An oil spill is one thing. Destruction of entire ecosystems, massive human rights abuses and millions of deaths from climate change is another thing altogether. BP’s ‘difficulty’ is not temporary; it is fundamental. BP is a climate criminal – pushing our civilisation to the brink of destruction in pursuit of profit. Climate Change kills hundreds of thousands of people a year and will kill many more unless we act immediately and radically to stop it.

BP and the Tate should not be friends. It is long past time for the Tate to abandon BP and renounce its complicity in their crimes.

Also see

Instant Oil spill

Oily Gaga


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