British artist Cally Spooner will present the first BMW Tate Live commission of 2014. And You Were Wonderful, On Stage draws on the genre of Broadway musicals and is written for a chorus line singing a cappella. This two-part commission will be performed for a live audience at Tate Britain on 21 January and develop into an online performance on 27 February.
For the first part of the commission at Tate Britain, the chorus line will gossip about current affairs and fallen heroes in exchanges about well-known media events from the worlds of politics, pop music and sport. Specifically they will focus on occasions when fake or controlled performances have been presented as live and authentic. Beyoncé’s lip-synching at Obama’s inauguration and Oprah Winfrey’s live interview with Lance Armstrong are among several high profile news stories described as the chorus line move from an improvised style to a robotic libretto of corporate and PR buzzwords. The work references the studies of French philosopher Bernard Steigler which considered how time and technology impact on our daily lives and explores the development of speech and language.
In the second part of the commission, Spooner will take elements from the first event and introduce new characters and material for a live online performance on 27 February. Audiences are invited to watch the performance via the online Performance Room at tate.org.uk/bmwtatelive at 20.00 hrs in the UK and exactly the same moment across time zones on the specified dates:
- 15.00 on the East Coast of America
- 21.00 in mainland Europe
- 23.00 in Russia.
This innovative format offers international audiences an opportunity to experience entirely new live works and to join a discussion about the work online. The global online audience are encouraged to chat with other viewers via social media channels during the performance and to put questions to the artist or curator for the live Q&A by following @TateLive, using #BMWTateLive; Tate Facebook; or Tate Google+. Each online performance is archived and available to view online after the live event.
The musical composition for And You Were Wonderful, On Stage is by Peter Joslyn; devised with and performed by Rhiannon Drake, Helen Hart, Jenny Minton, Piya Malik, Rebecca Thorn and Chloë Turpin; the costumes are by Malene List Thomsen; choreography by Adam Weinert; produced by Edd Hobbs; and the cast grows with each new production. It has previously been performed at Performa 13, National Academy, New York and the Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam, and rehearsed at KW Institute, Berlin.
BMW Tate Live is curated by Catherine Wood, Curator, Contemporary Art and Performance, Tate and Capucine Perrot, Assistant Curator, Tate Modern.
Cally Spooner And You Were Wonderful, On Stage
BMW Tate Live Performance Event, Tate Britain
Friday 21 February, 19.00 (sold out) & 21.00, £8 / concessions available
BMW Tate Live Performance Room, online at tate.org.uk/bmwtatelive
Thursday 27 February, 20.00 GMT, free