In 2010, in the wake of the Gulf of Mexico oil disaster, art activists staged a dramatic series of performances in cultural institutions to protest against oil companies like BP and Shell sponsoring gallery spaces like the Tate. 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.
The Liberate Tate exhibition of iconic photographs from the performances will be shown at 6 Billion Ways in collaboration with PLATFORM and Art Not Oil, and documents both the striking esthetic of the interventions, as well as a number of choice quotes that have come out of the ensuing public debate.
For more detail on the arguments against oil sponsorship of the arts, download the “Licence to Spill” pamphlet (pdf).
Liberate Tate workshop
London’s biggest cultural institutions take money from the UK’s biggest oil companies BP and Shell. What do the oil companies get out of this arrangement? More than a free trip to the opera? In the past year 6 performance interventions have occurred inside galleries and musuems. In this workshop Platform and Liberate Tate will tell the story of Big Oil’s sponsorship of the arts, creative resistance against it, and how we can push for change.
This workshop will take place at 5pm in the self-organised space in Rich Mix’s bar area.