View Full Version : License to Spill

Magda Hassan
06-30-2010, 02:05 PM
On the evening of the 28th of June at approx 7:15pm, Liberate Tate In protest over BP’s sponsorship of the arts performed a “Solemn” oil like spill at the Tate’s Summer party.
Dressed in black and veiled the performers carrying black buckets with BP logos spewed molasses over the entrance way as onlookers watched in amazement as the Portland stone floor was consumed by the black oil like mess.
Feathers were scattered and filled the air and in the same manner of approach the artists gracefully paced their escape.
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Licence to Spill – Platform
Apart from catastrophic spills like the Deepwater Horizon, there are a whole host of adverse impacts that are associated with the production of oil. On the local level, it often involves extreme forms of pollution for local communities, while regionally oil is frequently associated with greater militarization and con?ict. Globally, carbon emissions, oil companies, and our collective dependence on the product they push, are taking us ever closer to the edge of climate catastrophe.
To download Licence to Spill, a new release from Platform, visit http://www.carbonweb.org/showitem.asp?article=381&parent=39 (http://www.indymedia.org.uk/en/2010/06/454500.html)

Art Not Oil
Since 2004, Art Not Oil has aimed to encourage artists – and would-be artists – to create work that explores the damage that companies like BP and Shell are doing to the planet, and the role art can play in counteracting that damage.
Info : http://www.artnotoil.org.uk/

Magda Hassan
06-30-2010, 02:06 PM
It was us and it was art!
Last night (28 June), as the Tate celebrated 20 years of BP ‘support’ for British Art with a Summer Party, Liberate Tate disrupted the proceedings inside and out by pouring hundreds of litres of ‘oil’(molasses) and scattering thousands of feathers as the UK’s celebrity glitterati watched on in fascination.
Sipping Pimms and gobbling canapés many of the guests expressed confusion at whether these striking actions were ‘art’ or not. Despite inaccurate reporting in various media outlets, Liberate Tate would like to claim full responsibility for these acts of creative disobedience as art – art that refuses to pretend to do politics but is politics, art that makes transforming the world a beautiful adventure.
The Tate Summer Party had been planned to be in the museum gardens and involve speeches from BP executives. However, due to the rumours of disruption, Tate was forced to hold the entire event inside the museum and no speeches were made.
As the evening sun baked down on the stone courtyard of Tate Britain and members of the cultural and corporate elite made their way into the party, 13 figures dressed in black, their faces veiled, appeared from around the corner. In a mournful procession the art-activists approached the entrance carrying large barrels branded with the BP logo. Dozens of photographers and TV cameras swarmed and a moment of tense silence enveloped the area. Something was going to happen.
Then in a perfectly choreographed moment, the front phalanx poured hundreds of litres of the black liquid all over the entrance, whilst others threw feathers into the air which gently drifted down into the huge sticky black pools. The sombre figures walked calmly away, disappearing into the city, as the security redirected the guests to another entrance as the cleanup operation began.
Meanwhile, despite the heavy security at the door, two Liberate Tate art-activists managed to infiltrate the party wearing large floral bouffant dresses underneath which were concealed large sacks filled with the oily molasses. Calling themselves Toni Hayward and Bobbi Dudley, they began their performance in the crowded central gallery. At first drips began to fall from their handbags. “Oh, I seem to have a leak” whispered one of them to the lined up waiters dressed in brilliant white, who kindly provided napkins to stem the spill.
Soon the sacks under their dresses burst releasing tens of litres of ‘oil’ across the shiny parquet floor. As a crowd formed around them, the two donned BP branded ponchos and scrambled on all fours trying to clean up the mess using their high heel shoes to pour the slick back into their handbags, but to no avail. “Compared to the size of the gallery this is a tiny spill, a drop in the ocean,” they apologised to the viewers, “we’ll definitely have it cleaned up by, say, August”.
The polite crowd that had formed continued to watch appreciatively for another 20 minutes, amidst a sea of camera-phones. Many began debating among themselves whether this was art or not (“I think it is. I like it”), whether Tate had organised it, and what their personal aesthetic reactions to it were (“If I had seen this outside, I think I would have felt as I do seeing it… inside”). More than one invited artist openly described this to their fellow drinkers as the most sophisticated work in the room.
Liberate Tate, is a network dedicated to taking creative disobedience against the Tate until it drops its oil company funding. The 28 June art activist performances follow on from last month’s disruption of Tate Modern’s 10th Birthday celebrations by hanging dead fish and birds from dozens of giant black helium balloons.
The network was founded during a workshop in January 2010 on art and activism, commissioned by Tate. When Tate curators tried to censor the workshop from making interventions against Tate sponsors, the incensed participants decided to continue their work together beyond the workshop and set up Liberate Tate.
www.twitter.com/liberatetate (http://www.youandifilms.com/2010/06/licence-to-spill-full-report/www.twitter.com/liberatetate)
Images: www.immoklink.com/BP-Tate/index.html (http://www.youandifilms.com/2010/06/licence-to-spill-full-report/www.immoklink.com/BP-Tate/index.html)
www.youandifilms.com/2010/06/license-to-spill/ (http://www.youandifilms.com/2010/06/licence-to-spill-full-report/www.youandifilms.com/2010/06/license-to-spill/)
See also LIBERATE TATE COMMUNIQUE 1 http://bit.ly/9RFfxJ (MAY 2010)