Press Release

BMW Tate Live: Performance Room 2012 artists’ commissions announced: Jérôme Bel, Pablo Bronstein, Harrell Fletcher, Joan Jonas and Emily Roysdon

Tate and BMW reveal the first five international artists commissioned for the BMW Tate Live: Performance Room – a pioneering programme of live online performances reaching international audiences across world time zones.

Choreographer and dancer Jérôme Bel and artists Pablo Bronstein, Harrell Fletcher, Joan Jonas and Emily Roysdon each present works for the BMW Tate Live Performance Room. One performance will take place live each month within Tate Modern to be filmed as it happens for live online broadcast around the world. The performances will be followed by an online question and answer session with the artist or curator. 

Press are invited to view the BMW Tate Live Performance Room trailer presented by Chris Dercon, Director, Tate Modern at

Audiences, who will only be able to view the performances on the internet, are invited to enter the online Performance Room via at 20.00 hrs in the UK and exactly the same moment across time zones on the specified dates ie 15.00 hrs on the East Coast of America, 21.00 hrs in mainline Europe and 23.00 hrs in Russia. 

The global audience are encouraged to chat with other viewers via social media channels during the performance and to put questions to the artists or curator following it using Tate’s social media channels;; and the Twitter hashtag #BMWTateLive. 

Thursday 22 March: French choreographer and dancer Jérôme Bel will inaugurate the BMW Tate Live Performance Room with a new work that is a twist on his 1997 performance Shirtology and which will emphasise and play with the Performance Room format. The work will feature one performer and a collection of T-shirts that are changed and removed to display different messages. Bel’s work explores the relationship between choreography and popular culture; and dancer and spectator, often using humour as a device to break the usual formality of a theatre setting. 

Thursday 26 April: Argentinean born, Pablo Bronstein, uses architectural design and drawing to engage with the grandiose and imperial past of the built environment. This preoccupation with form extends into his live work, for example, for the 2006 Tate Triennial he blended the regimented patterns of baroque dance with the minimalist choreography of the 1960s. He will work with up to 10 dancers to create a baroque trompe l’oeil stage set that exaggerates the perspective within the Performance Room. 

Thursday 31 May: American artist and writer, Emily Roysdon, explores the intersection of choreography and political action through performance, photographic installations, print making, text, video, curating and collaborating. She recently developed the concept ‘ecstatic resistance’ to address the impossible and imaginary in politics. 

Thursday 28 June: Harrell Fletcher’s work often takes the form of socially engaged collaborative and interdisciplinary projects including, with Miranda July, Learning To Love You More, an audience participatory website where visitors responded to assignments like “make an encouraging banner” or “make a neighbourhood field recording” with uploaded photos, film and text. For BMW Tate Live he will work with local amateur performers who ordinarily would not be seen by the Performance Room’s global audience.  

Mid to early July or September – tbc: Since the 1960s, Joan Jonas has been a major figure at the forefront of explorations in film and performance, transcending genres to develop an influential practice rooted in space, movement, ritual and gesture. Her early work featured herself as alter-ego, Organic Honey and she has often developed narratives based on fairytales and folklore. 

This innovative format will offer audiences internationally an opportunity to experience these works through an entirely new mode of presentation. Each performance will be archived and available to view online, accumulating into a series through the year. 

BMW Tate Live is a major four-year partnership between BMW and Tate, which focuses on performance, interdisciplinary art and curating digital space. BMW Tate Live: Performance Room is the inaugural strand of the partnership and features five commissions in 2012. 

BMW Tate Live is curated by Catherine Wood, Curator, Contemporary Art and Performance, Tate, and Kathy Noble, Curator of Interdisciplinary Projects, Tate. 

BMW Tate Live Performance Room: Performance dates and time in the UK*

22 March, 20.00 - BMW Tate Live Performance Room #1: Jérôme Bel

26 April, 20.00 - BMW Tate Live Performance Room #2: Pablo Bronstein

31 May, 20.00 - BMW Tate Live Performance Room #3: Emily Roysdon

28 June, 20.00 - BMW Tate Live Performance Room #4: Harrell Fletcher

Mid July / Sept, 20.00 - BMW Tate Live Performance Room #5: Joan Jonas

*Times listed are for the UK. Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) ends and British Summer Time (BST) begins in the UK on 25 March so times are listed as BST except for 22 March. 

See also

Editor notes

About BMW’s Cultural Commitment

For more than 40 years now, the BMW Group has initiated and engaged in more than 100 cultural cooperations worldwide. The company places the main focus of its long-term commitment on modern and contemporary art, jazz and classical music as well as architecture and design. In 1972, three large-scale paintings were created by the artist Gerhard Richter specifically for the foyer of the BMW Group’s Munich headquarters. Since then, artists such as Andy Warhol, Roy Lichtenstein, Olafur Eliasson, Jeff Koons, Zubin Metha, Daniel Barenboim and Anna Netrebko have co-operated with BMW. The company has also commissioned famous architects such as Karl Schwanzer, Zaha Hadid and Coop Himmelb(l)au to design important corporate buildings and plants. In 2011, the BMW Guggenheim Lab, a global initiative of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation, the Guggenheim Museum and the BMW Group celebrated its world premiere in New York. 

The BMW Group takes absolute creative freedom in all the cultural activities it is involved in for granted – as this is just as essential for groundbreaking artistic work as it is for major innovations in a successful business.

Quotes sheet

Chris Dercon, Director, Tate Modern said:

I am delighted that we will partner with BMW on this important new initiative. Not only is Tate’s programme and Collection becoming increasingly international, so is our audience, and we need to work to find new ways to present our programme to them on new channels. The development of technology has transformed people’s approach to art. Audiences today expect more interaction, participation and personalisation than ever before. BMW Tate Live will answer this need. BMW Tate Live will bring live art performance directly to people on the web, wherever they are in the world.  

Dr.Uwe Ellinghaus, Director Brand Steering, Brand Management BMW and Marketing Services said:

Tate and BMW is a match made in heaven. In 2011 the BMW Group is celebrating 40 years of international cultural commitment. By announcing an extensive cooperation with Tate Modern, BMW gives a clear signal: We will continue to engage in manifold cultural projects worldwide. The transnational program that has been brought into being with this trendsetting institution proves once more that for the BMW Group intercultural dialogue is not only desirable, but provides the basic concept for an internationally successful company. I am personally excited that we are intensifying this dialogue in London with BMW Tate Live and thus promoting it throughout the world.

Catherine Wood, Curator, Contemporary Art and Performance, Tate said:

The way in which the artists will use the format and the extent to which they will use the reciprocal capacities of technology in BMW Tate Live: Performance Rooms will be an exciting part of the experimental nature of the series. We are keen to see how artists might experiment with the intimacy and theatricality of this space while reflecting upon how virtual communications have become an integral part of our lives today. This project will hopefully extend our idea of what an exhibition space is and can be.