Tag Archives: art

Farewell party for BP sponsorship at Tate Modern

After 18 artistic interventions over six years, campaign group ‘Liberate Tate‘ held an unofficial party this afternoon in the Turbine Hall to celebrate the news that Tate Modern is finally free of its 26 year long arrangement with BP.

Campaign pressure on the criminal oil company is widely regarded as one of the main reasons they have given up their deal with the gallery, although news reports cited the “challenging business environment“.

Recent Freedom of Information requests indicate that the amount of money BP gives the gallery each year is smaller than one hour’s profit, so it seems more likely they have weighed up the substantial PR gains they get from such arrangements against the bad press they regularly receive as campaign groups stage their protests and that the protests are just too damaging to the company.

Activists smuggled a sound system into the hall this afternoon and danced, drank, and ate cake.

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Children played under and around the black square (resurrected from a previous action).

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Veiled performers delivered their artists’ statement.

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Two activists somehow accessed a beam very high up above the crowd and dropped black confetti creating a massive spectacle for the visiting public.

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After a couple of hours, most of the confetti was packed away in bags and activists bade a final farewell to the museum, while a police inspector tried to work out how the confetti stunt had been pulled.

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Another campaign group, ‘BP or not BP‘, will continue their pressure on the British Museum where the new director, Hartwig Fischer, is currently deciding whether to renew BP’s sponsorship deal there.

See also ‘TimePiece‘, my short film of a 24-hour occupation at Tate Modern last year.




Pocket money loans for kids – could it be real?

Artist Darren Cullen has opened the new Atom gallery in Stroud Green with a controversial work entitled ‘Pocket Money Loans’.

He’s been receiving support and interest from some passers-by and media, but also a fair share of abusive emails from people who believed the art to be real. Social media has been similarly confused, and his fake website, pocketmoneyloans.com has had around 50,000 hits so far.

The gallery opened last week, looking much like a high street payday loan shop, but clearly targeted at kids.

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Darren sits behind the cash counter each day, with a strategically placed trampoline made available so that smaller children can bounce high enough to read the fine print.

Various posters advertise a range of services, including bouncy castle mortgages, up to £100 for your toy car, and special offers from the tooth fairy.

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The gallery is decorated with balloons and also features a handy abacus for totting up interest, and a little table and chairs for signing agreements.

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Among the responses Darren has had, was a trademark infringement warning from US payday loans company, Speedy Cash. They were apparently upset by the use of a photo from their own website, which Darren reproduced by way of comment on the blog page of his site.speedy cash kangaroo

The offending image is reproduced here (under fair usage, news and comment). Although obviously loans are only available to adults, Speedy Cash is not alone among companies that seem to sanitise their murky industry by using family-friendly and particularly child-focussed images.

In fact, taking a look around the Speedy Cash website, I came across this image from their main page, featuring young children blowing out birthday candles. speedy cash webpage

It’s in the context of this sort of advertising and promotion, that Darren decided to create his art installation, and he gives many similar examples on his blog, adding up to a compelling case for regulation and restriction.

The Stroud Green store is open Monday to Saturday 10-6 until next Friday 7th November. Darren’s past work can be seen at his main website.