The Tanks
Fifteen Weeks of Art in Action
18 July–28 October 2012

Tate Modern
London SE1 9TG
United Kingdom

Converted from the former oil tanks of Bankside Power Station, the Tanks at Tate Modern have been specially designed by architects Herzog & de Meuron to showcase live art, installation, and the moving image.

Over a period of fifteen weeks this summer, these stunning, raw industrial spaces are launched with a new commission by Korean artist Sung Hwan Kim, a pair of collection displays featuring two new acquisitions—Suzanne Lacy’s The Crystal Quilt (1985–87) and Lis Rhodes’ Light Music (1975)—and Art in Action, a rolling festival of performance and film projects by over 40 established and emerging artists from around the world. Artists include Ei Arakawa (Japan), Jelili Atiku (Nigeria), Nina Beier (Denmark), Tania Bruguera (Cuba), Boris Charmatz (France), Keren Cytter (Israel), Juan Downey (Chile), Gill Eatherley (UK), Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker (Belgium), Liu Ding (China), Jeff Keen (UK), Anthea Hamilton (UK), Malcolm Le Grice (UK), Tina Keane (UK), Joachim Koester (Denmark), Anthony McCall (UK), Rabih Mroué (Lebanon), Annabel Nicholson (UK), Eddie Peake (UK), William Raban (UK), Yvonne Rainer (US), Aura Satz (UK), Patrick Staff (UK), Aldo Tambellini (US), Kerry Tribe (US), and Haegue Yang (Korea).

Interwoven with the live programme are three critical symposia: Inside/Outside: Materialising the Social, Performance Year Zero: A Living History and Playing in the Shadows, as well as participatory days for families, schools and teachers events, and Undercurrent, ten days programmed by young people for young people, featuring audio, digital media, and performance by Leo Asemota, Michael Wynters Barnes, Dubmorphology, Jon Fawcett, Ruairi Glynn, ISYS Archive, Tracey Moberly, The Orange Dot and David Kraftsow, Hetain Patel, Rinse FM, Tate Collective, and W Project.

The opening programme for the Tanks addresses ways in which artists have increasingly engaged with areas such as performance, expanded cinema, broadcast media, social activism, and works that explore the relationship between artist and audience. It provides an opportunity not just to revisit this history, but to place it centrally in a new conversation that questions how live works function in relation to traditional understandings of museum collections, and how an evolving history of contemporary art and action whose roots stretch back to the beginning of the twentieth century can be presented, researched, and archived. A further question that the Tanks bring to the forefront of discussion for museums is the changing role of the audience at a moment dominated by social media and new modes of broadcast. The presence of the audience is crucial to all of these projects, whether viewing a performance, experiencing an installation, or taking part in a conversation. In this spirit of active participation and learning, visitors are invited to respond and join the debate as ideas are explored and tested to shape the Tanks programme for years to come.

The Tanks are the first phase of the Tate Modern Project, a spectacular new building by Herzog & de Meuron, adjoining Tate Modern to the south. The new building will increase Tate Modern’s size by 60%, provide more space for contemporary art and enable Tate to explore new areas of visual culture involving photography, film, video, performance, and learning, enriching its current programme for a broader audience.

Supported by The Tanks Supporters Group. The Sung Hwan Kim commission is supported by Sotheby’s.

For complete details about the programme, visit the Tate website.

The opening programme for The Tanks is curated by Catherine Wood, Curator of Contemporary Art and Performance; Kathy Noble, Curator of Interdisciplinary Projects; and Stuart Comer, Curator of Film with Assistant Curators Julia Crabtree, Katie-Marie Ford, Loren Hansi Momodu, Kyla McDonald and Capucine Perrot. The Learning programme is curated by Marko Daniel, Convenor (Adult Programmes); Mark Miller, Convenor (Young People’s Programmes); Marianne Mulvey, Assistant Curator (Adult Programmes); Susan Sheddan, Convenor (Schools & Teachers); Leanne Turvey, Convenor (Schools & Teachers); and Alice Walton, Convenor (Schools & Teachers).