Press Release

One million people visit the sun at Tate Modern

One million people visit the sun at Tate Modern: Press related to past news.

Today at Tate Modern Olafur’s Eliasson’s commission for The Unilever Series welcomed its one millionth visitor. Taking the weather as a starting point, the artist Olafur Eliasson has used mirrors, light and mist to create an extraordinary sensory environment in the Turbine Hall.

This exceptional figure comes at the end of a successful year for Tate. In November Tate Britain recorded its highest visitor figures since its re-launch in 2000. The Barbara Hepworth exhibition, staged at Tate St Ives to celebrate the gallery’s tenth anniversary, was the most popular ever and visited by over 166,000 visitors. Following on from the announcement that Liverpool will be European Capital of Culture 2008, Tate Liverpool had its second best summer attendance. Tate Online continues to register increased numbers. The number of unique users has doubled in the last two years, thanks to the long term support of online partner BT.

Olafur Eliasson’s online weather survey, which was an aspect of the project at Tate Modern, has been completed by people all over the world and here are some of the facts we have uncovered:

  • Londoners kiss their partners most in summer, Parisians most in winter.
  • In London people talk about the weather between once and three times a day - in Paris it’s closer to three times a day.
  • However, talking about the weather doesn’t bode well for starting friendships with strangers – Londoners and Parisians think it’s likely to mean you’ll never speak to the person again.
  • From London and Liverpool to Moscow and New York, most of the world thaws the chill by kissing people other than their partners most in winter.
  • In New York and Cardiff, people are ambivalent about whether the weather affects their salaries – but in Venice they’re much more concerned.
  • Londoners strongly believe that their tolerance of others is proportional to the weather.
  • Given the chance, the average Brit would be keen to control the weather.

In addition people have been filling in their own weather-related stories including freak weather stories. For more of this visit