Tate has commissioned Basel-based architecture firm Herzog & de Meuron to convert the underground oil tanks of the former Bankside power station into new exhibition and performance spaces each measuring 7 metres in height and 30 metres in diameter, the world’s first museum galleries permanently dedicated to the exhibition of live art, film and installation works. With a combined exhibition area of 1,800 sq metres, the Tanks are more than half the size of the Turbine Hall, and exceed the display space of entire regional galleries, such as the Turner Contemporary in Margate.
One cylinder has been made into a performance space, the second into a room for temporary installations with a preference for those using moving images. The third tank has been subdivided into the functions, such as dressing rooms, needed to serve the other two. Floors, ceiling and lighting have been added as necessary to fulfil their new tasks
The opening of the Tanks will be marked by the launch of a, ‘Art in Action’, a fifteen-week festival opening on 18th July and running until 28th October 2012 celebrating performance and installation art and the historical works that have shaped it as part of the London 2012 Festival, the culmination of the Cultural Olympiad.
The East Tank will house a major new commission by Sung Hwan Kim, while the South Tank will exhibit a rolling series of projects exploring the history of film, performance, film and interdisciplinary work alongside newly-commissioned creations. The Transformer and Drum Galleries will showcase recently acquired film and performance pieces such as Suzanne Lacy’s Crystal Quilt, 1987 and Lis Rhodes’s Light Music, 1975.
Ten days of the festival will be given over to audio, digital media and performance rooted in London’s sub-cultures curated solely by and for young people. ‘Undercurrent’, commissioned by Tate Collective will include events in collaboration with: Rinse FM, Dubmorphology, ISYS Archive, The Orange Dot and David Kraftsow, W Project and Michael Barnes-Wynters: Dutty Lingo as well as artists such as Leo Asemota, Hetain Patel, Ruairi Glynn, Tracey Moberly and Jon Fawcett. In addition to three major discursive events, which involve presentations, debates and performances, there will be two mass participatory happenings involving visitors of all ages involving sound, performance and film.
Over 40 established and emerging artists from around the world will be taking part, including: Ei Arakawa from Japan, Jelili Atiku from Nigeria, Nina Beier from Denmark, Tania Bruguera from Cuba, Boris Charmatz from France, Keren Cytter from Israel, Tina Keane, Anthea Hamilton, Lis Rhodes, Jeff Keen and Eddie Peake from the UK, Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker from Belgium, Liu Ding from China, Sung Hwan Kim from Korea, Rabih Mroué from Lebanon, Yvonne Rainer and Aldo Tambellini from the US, Hito Stereyl from Germany, and Haegue Yang from Korea.
Entrance to ‘The Tanks’ is free
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