Jan Dalley:Hello. I’m Jan Dalley. I’m the arts editor of the Financial Times. I’m sitting here on the top floor of Tate Modern, on the South Bank of the Thames in London. Behind me you can see St Paul’s Cathedral and the Millennium Bridge. With me is Director of Tate, Sir Nicholas Serota, and Simon Schama, author, broadcaster, historian and art critic. And it’s something in the nature of a birthday celebration, because the building we’re sitting in opened to the public ten years ago. I think everyone knows it’s converted from a former power station and has become the Mecca of contemporary art in London. Nick, if you had to come up with just one or two things from this enormous achievement of the last ten years that perhaps give you most satisfaction when you think about them – what would they be?Nicholas Serota:Satisfaction – I’m not sure. But images, I suppose, probably some of those great installations that we made in the Turbine Hall by Louise Bourgeois where she created these three towers that people could climb. That was the first installation in the Turbine Hall, and then perhaps Anish Kapoor's Marsyas – that extraordinary red trumpet that blasted its way right the way from the east to the west end of the Turbine Hall, or Carsten Holler’s slides. Going down one of those slides from the fifth floor to the first in thirty-five seconds was one of the experiences of my life! Simon Schama:Have you been surprised how much of a kind of popular, democratic institution this place has become over ten years?Nicholas Serota:Well, Simon, we always had the ambition that it would be that, and we confidently expected that in the first year we would get three million visitors, and then it would drop back to two, which was the sort of number that one found at the Pompidou or you found at the Tate as it was. So to have five in the first year and then to see it drop to four, but then build back to five, as it now is, is an astonishing record for Tate Modern. And it comes I think, probably from the building and it comes from the way in which the art has been shown. And it has, as you say, become an institution that people regard as a democratic and very approachable institution.Simon Schama:Say something about how the idea for Tate Modern itself, and maybe the possibility of this particular building, first came about.Nicholas Serota:Well, the idea of a museum of modern art in London was not my idea. It was probably Peggy Guggenheim’s idea in the late Thirties when she actually appointed a director for a new museum of modern art, namely Herbert Reid. And they thought the Tate was dull, and London needed something, and she said, ‘Let’s have a museum of modern art’. Well, the war came, she went to America. It didn’t emerge, except in the form of the ICA, without her intervention. And then periodically people have been saying there needs to be a museum of modern art in London, separate from the Tate, or as part of the Tate. And when I arrived, it seemed to me that the Tate and its building and even the site, wasn’t the place where you could create a great museum of modern art for a huge capital city of the kind that we have. And [we needed the site. 00:03:22] Simon Schama:What was wrong with it? It was just on the river too?Nicholas Serota:Well, [Pimlico 00:03:24] was a great location for a prison, as it was. Mill Bank Prison… Simon Schama:MI6.Nicholas Serota:You know, the astonishing thing about the Tate is we inhabit four buildings. All four of them have been sites that have been regarded as redundant by society. You know, the Mill Bank, the original building is in Mill Bank on the site of the Mill Bank prison. Tate St Yves is in a place that was a former gasworks, derelict for thirty years. Liverpool is in Hartley’s great dockyard building, which again, had been empty for thirty or forty years, and this building had been empty for fifteen.Simon Schama:Well this is G G Scott, though. These are all buildings, actually, which had architectural ambition for a different purpose.Nicholas Serota:Yes, this building had. This building, Tate Modern, the Bankside Power Station, had architectural ambition. Giles Gilbert Scott, a great architect, was commissioned to build a building that would be a fitting power station opposite St Paul’s Cathedral, in the late Forties.Why this building? Well, we were looking for a site. Someone mentioned to me that this was empty, and I almost had to look on a map and work out where Bankside was at that point. It was a neglected part of the city. I came down that night on my way home, and I stood on the walkway, the riverside walkway in front, and I paced out the distance between the chimney and the end of the building, and it seemed to have all kinds of possibilities.Simon Schama:Was the turbine still in the Turbine Hall?Nicholas Serota:The turbines were still in the Turbine Hall. I think the most exciting moment was actually to climb up through the building and to stand on the roof just below where we are now, and to look out and feel that you could almost touch St Paul’s Cathedral. And you realised then that it really was in the centre of the city.Simon Schama:It was clear from the beginning that, from Louise Bourgeois’s fantastic installations, that the Turbine Hall was going to be this dramatic, theatrical, spectacular space to put the kind of contemporary art that really needed this enormous area if it was going to deliver its punch. The issue was then how to deal with a permanent collection, and the early history of the installation was brave, but there were critics of it, including me, actually. And what was the thinking behind doing it thematically?Nicholas Serota:The thinking was very clear, and that was that we couldn’t go on showing the collection in the very standard way in which most museums of modern art, indeed, most museums, do show their collections – essentially chronologically – because it didn’t really reflect the way in which artists were thinking. It didn’t really reflect the way in which people were thinking about the twentieth century – not so much as a linear history, but as a whole series of episodes that interconnect in very interesting ways, and that one can pick out moments in the twentieth century that come into focus, inevitably because of the way in which artists are working today, that then go out of focus. And it was about establishing the relationship between the contemporary and the past that really motivated us to try and think of a new way of showing the collection.It’s true that we’ve now reverted to a similar principal, but one which does have some broad sense of chronological sequence, in that there are now four moments in the twentieth century that act as hubs around which other things revolve. But we still make these extraordinary juxtapositions between old and new, and the interesting thing is that in spite of the criticism from 2000, 2001, 2002, you go to museums across the world…Simon Schama:They’re all doing it.Nicholas Serota:And they’re all doing it, yeah, so… But actually they are not doing it. I would say they are not doing it as whole-heartedly as the team here is doing it. Simon Schama:You’ve had some wonderful temporary exhibitions and shows as well, over the years. Can you get a sense of some of the things that made you… since you don’t want to be satisfied, like all perfectionists, who are happiest when they are… I mean, I’ve got my own favourites.Nicholas Serota:I suppose you have to begin with Picasso. Matisse, Picasso. I mean, incredible collaboration with the Pompidou and with MoMA, bringing together these two great artists of the twentieth century who – Gladiators – incredibly conscious of what each and the other was doing at any given moment, and extraordinary juxtapositions created by John Golding and the team, of works that had never been together before. Or the Helio Oiticica Exhibition, an exhibition that sadly will now never be able to be made again because so many of the works that were in that show were destroyed tragically in a fire last year in Rio.Simon Schama:Has the relatively modest space you’ve got available for temporary exhibitions been a frustration, or you are now seeking more space, and a new building is going to happen?Nicholas Serota:It will be a more open and flexible space for temporary exhibitions. But I don’t think it’s so much that we need more space for exhibitions. We won’t significantly increase the number of exhibitions we do. When we have the new building, it will be a space that we can use for the collection.Jan Dalley:Could you describe the new building? It’s an addition, in fact, to the back of this existing building. What sort of proportion of this space is it?Nicholas Serota:It will sit on the south side. It will sit on the side that everyone currently neglects on Tate Modern, because everyone thinks of it as facing the river. But my guess is that when we do this extension, the whole way in which the building works will change, but not least because you are going to be able to walk through the building, across the bridge, and then across the Millennium Bridge, twelve hours a day. And I think a lot of people will use it, literally, as a short… you know, a way of moving through the city. So it will become a part of the city in a different sense. And the new building will sit to the south. It’s an entirely new structure designed by Herzog and De Meuron. It’s very unusual, actually – that a building is extended by the same architects who designed… Normally you fall out with your architect! You swear never to use him again.Simon Schama:You’ve had not a bad word between you.Nicholas Serota:Well, we’ve had plenty of tension! But enough tension to realise that it’s creative, and that we can work with him again, and in a sense better the devil you know. But it will give us something like another 60 per cent of exhibition space. It will give us great new spaces for learning. It will give us these remarkable spaces below ground off the Turbine Hall – these oil tank spaces. There were originally three tanks built below the lawns on the south side, and they housed the…Simon Schama:They stayed?Nicholas Serota:Yes, they stayed, and they were used for the oil that powered the boilers in the power station. And these spaces are sixty feet across, twenty-five feet high, great cylinders of space below the ground.Simon Schama:You’re not expecting to have [inaudible 00:10:49] and Richard [inaudible 00:10:51] immediately?Nicholas Serota:I thought Richard would love to work in there.Simon Schama:Yeah, exactly!Jan Dalley:Unfortunately we’ve run out of time. It only remains for me to thank Simon Schama and Nicholas Serota very much for an interesting discussion about an extraordinary decade since Tate Modern opened in London.