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.
Children played under and around the black square (resurrected from a previous action).
Veiled performers delivered their artists’ statement.
Two activists somehow accessed a beam very high up above the crowd and dropped black confetti creating a massive spectacle for the visiting public.
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.
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.