In May 2010, a group calling themselves Liberate Tate released black helium balloons carrying ‘oil-slicked’ dead fish and model birds to the upper airspace of Tate Modern’s Turbine Hall during the gallery’s BP sponsored birthday party. A movement was born. Gushing from floral skirts, spilling elegantly from giant white eggs, jetting from paint tubes across the floor of the iconic Tate Turbine Hall, the flood of oily resistance that followed has generated a fierce debate in the art world around oil, ethics and sponsorship.
In January 2011, PLATFORM will exhibit artifacts, images and videos from the work of the Liberate Tate collective, and host workshops to actively engage the public. They will explore the power of aesthetic interventions to disturb, re-vision and re-form the relationships between artist, institution, sponsor and viewer. “In a time of massive public funding cuts in the we know this campaign is going to face critics. But if artists fold at the feet of big oil when they flash their cash, who exactly do we expect will stand up to them?”
PLATFORM needs your help to get this exhibition off the ground – see Licence to Spill for further information and to donate to the cause.