Hello, my name is Ami Guest and I am the Press Assistant here at Tate Liverpool. It is my job to assist the press office and communications department and help promote each exhibition.
I’ve been working on René Magritte: The Pleasure Principle since September 2010 when the exhibition was announced at Tate’s annual press conference.Rachel (Tate Liverpool’s Press Officer) and I have been working hard gathering images for press, writing releases and securing stories across a range of local, national and international media.
Tate holds press views before every major exhibition. We set aside one day before the exhibition opens and invite local, national and international press, television news crews and bloggers to view the exhibition. This gives the journalists a chance to see the show, digest it and then review it in time for opening. The weeks leading up to press views are hectic, exciting and nerve wracking! However, we have had some great preview press for Magritte which has helped generate a great buzz around the exhibition. Imogen Carter from The Observer’s New Review asked a selection of artists why they love Magritte. This was one of my favourite pieces so far, it reminded me of the huge impact Magritte has had on popular culture and how often we see his influence without really realising.
On the day of the press view Rachel and I arrive early. We have to make sure everything is in place before the journalists arrive. Although the Magritte press view was scheduled to happen between 11 and 3, our first visitors arrived at half 8! From then on, it’s none stop for us, greeting people, supervising film crews, arranging interviews, answering questions….the list goes on!
Although we spend months planning the press views the unexpected always happens. My favourite part of the day was babysitting a journalists daughter whilst her mum reviewed the exhibition. I didn’t expect the day would pan out like that, but I was glad it did, not least because it was one of the few opportunities I got to sit down!
So far 72 journalists have seen the show and more are expected to visit in the next couple of days - keeping us very busy. There’s no time to rest, before long Rachel and I will begin work on Alice in Wonderland. Tick Tock, Tick Tock!