Tate will have to go through an official process to decide whether to accept a 16.5-metre wind turbine blade, dumped in protest in the Tate Modern’s Turbine Hall on Saturday, as part of its permanent collection.
The ‘gift’ of the one-and-a-half tonne wind turbine blade is the latest act in a campaign of artistic protest against the Tate’s longstanding relationship with sponsors BP. More than 100 people were involved in Liberate Tate’s effort to transport the structure from a Welsh valley to the Tate Modern’s cavernous hall, and in submitting the blade as ‘a gift to the nation’, the organisation is required to officially consider the blade’s inclusion in its permanent collection.
Sharon Palmer from Liberate Tate repeated her organisation’s claims that BP uses its association with the Tate to whitewash its environmental and human rights record.
“Liberate Tate has created this artwork using an icon of renewable energy with an express wish that Tate will have the courage to take leadership in addressing the threat of catastrophic climate change and end its relationship with BP,” she said.
In a letter to Tate, the campaigning group described the blade as “perhaps the largest present you have ever received, the most unexpected and the most disobedient, the strangest and the hardest to get rid of”.
The campaigners went on to claim that: “Tate continue to promote the burning of fossil fuels by taking the poisoned gift of funding from BP. This is why today we have given you something you could not refuse.”
Tate released a statement confirming that protestors had left the blade in the Turbine Hall and that security staff had removed it.
Photo credit: Immo Klink