Press Release

Tino Sehgal commissioned for Tate Modern’s Turbine Hall in 2012

Tino Sehgal commissioned for Tate Modern’s Turbine Hall in 2012; Tate past press release

Turbine Hall, Tate Modern
Tuesday 17 July – Sunday 28 October 2012

Tate has announced that Tino Sehgal will undertake the annual commission for Tate Modern’s Turbine Hall in 2012. To be unveiled on 17 July that year, Sehgal’s new work will be the thirteenth to be commissioned in The Unilever Series.

Tino Sehgal 2012 will be part of the London 2012 Festival, the finale of the Cultural Olympiad. Sehgal has risen to prominence for his innovative works which consist purely of live encounters between people. Avoiding the production of any objects, he has pioneered a radical and yet entirely viewer-oriented approach to making art. His works respond to and engage with the gallery visitor directly, creating social situations through the use of conversation, dance, sound and movement, as well as philosophical and economic debate. Having trained in both political economics and choreography, the resulting works are renowned for their high levels of interaction, intimacy, and critical reflection on their environment.

 Some of the most memorable examples of Sehgal’s practice have involved direct physical or aural encounters, such as This is Propaganda 2002. Shown at the Tate Triennial in 2006, this took the form of a female museum attendant singing the title of the work each time a visitor entered the room. On other occasions, the artist’s output has been more akin to a forum for discussion. His most complex work, This Situation 2007, required the participation of a group of intellectuals. They occupied an otherwise empty gallery space and interacted with each other and the audience in accordance with a set of rules and games established by the artist, a format which many of Sehgal’s works have used to create an environment that is both unfamiliar and engaging.

Sehgal’s recent solo exhibition at the Guggenheim Museum, New York in 2010 centred around This Progress 2006, a piece first shown in London at the ICA. Visitors to Frank Lloyd Wright’s iconic spiral ramp were greeted by a young child who began a conversation by asking what ‘progress’ could be. As they walked up the ramp, they were handed over to a succession of increasingly older participants, who each furthered the discussion in varying ways until a senior participant bade the visitor farewell. These unrehearsed conversations provided an encounter that was always unique and personal, raising questions through non-confrontational dialogue about contemporary society, and inspiring an emotional, psychological and intellectual response.

Sehgal was born in London in 1976 and currently lives and works in Berlin. He represented Germany at the Venice Biennale in 2005 and has been nominated for the Hugo Boss Prize 2006 and the Preis der Nationalgalerie für Junge Kunst 2007. Solo exhibitions of his work have been held around the world, including at the Guggenheim Museum, New York; Villa Reale, Milan; Kunsthaus Bregenz; and the ICA, London.

Tino Sehgal 2012 is curated by Jessica Morgan, The Daskalopoulos Curator, International Art, Tate Modern. The commission is also supported by the Goethe Institut.

Sheena Wagstaff, Chief Curator, Tate Modern said:

The year 2012 is a wonderfully apposite time for Tino Sehgal to undertake the Turbine Hall commission. Coincident with the sporting events of the Olympics, the unique public environment of Tate Modern’s vast Turbine Hall will be excitingly animated and transformed by his work. It will be a truly dynamic addition to the year’s culture calendar and in particular to the London 2012 Festival.

Gavin Neath, Senior Vice President, Unilever plc said:

Tino Sehgal 2012 will be the thirteenth commission in The Unilever Series, making it one of the longest running and most successful of art sponsorships. To date 25 million people have seen the various installations in The Unilever Series. We are confident that millions more will flock to Tino Sehgal in 2012.

See also

Tate Modern Exhibition

The Unilever Series: Tino Sehgal 2012

24 Jul – 28 Oct 2012
Tino Sehgal will undertake the annual commission for Tate Modern’s Turbine Hall in 2012.
Tate Modern Talk

Artist’s talk: Tino Sehgal

6 Oct 2012
Artist Tino Seghal talks at Tate Modern, 6 October 2012
Tate Modern Talk

Curator’s talk: Tino Sehgal

22 Sep 2012
Curator's talk on Tino Sehgal, Tate Modern, 22 September 2012

The Fifth Floor: Ideas Taking Space Tino Sehgal

The Fifth Floor: Ideas Taking Space; past exhibition at Tate Liverpool: Tino Sehgal

Editor notes

The Unilever Series of annual commissions was launched in 2000 when Tate Modern opened with Louise Bourgeois’s I Do, I Undo, I Redo. Spanish artist Juan Muñoz was commissioned in 2001 with Double Bind, and the first British artist was Anish Kapoor with Marsyas in 2002. Olafur Eliasson’s Weather Project illuminated the Turbine Hall in 2003 and Bruce Nauman’s sound installation Raw Materials opened in 2004. In 2005 Rachel Whiteread created her installation EMBANKMENT, followed by Carsten Höller’s interactive spiralling slides Test Site in 2006. In 2007 Doris Salcedo’s Shibboleth broke open the floor of the Turbine Hall, while Dominique Gonzalez-Foerster’s TH.2058 transformed the Turbine Hall into a futuristic shelter in 2008. Miroslaw Balka created the eerie pitch black chamber How It Is in 2009, and in 2010 Ai Weiwei unveiled a landscape of over 100 million hand-made porcelain Sunflower Seeds. Tacita Dean’s commission, the twelfth in the series, will be unveiled on 11 October 2011.

Unilever’s sponsorship of The Unilever Series at Tate Modern began in 2000 and has been extended until 2012. The Unilever Series has inspired over 25 million visitors to Tate Modern. The commission is also the basis for cultural exchange thanks to the success of The Unilever Series: turbinegeneration. Launched in 2009, turbinegeneration is an online education project linking schools across the globe. Over 30 countries will be taking part in the project by 2012. The Unilever Series and the associated education programme reflect Unilever’s commitment to inspirational and thought-provoking art.

 About the Cultural Olympiad and London 2012 Festival

 The London 2012 Cultural Olympiad is the largest cultural celebration in the history of the modern Olympic and Paralympic Movements. Spread over four years, it is designed to give everyone in the UK a chance to be part of London 2012 and inspire creativity across all forms of culture, especially among young people.

 Since the Cultural Olympiad started in 2008 11.2million people from across the UK have participated in or attended over 5,400 public performances as part of the Cultural Olympiad and programmes inspired by 2012 and funded by our principle funders and sponsors. Over 67,000 people have attended 6,800 workshops as part of Cultural Olympiad programmes.

 The culmination of the Cultural Olympiad will be the London 2012 Festival, bringing leading artists from all over the world together from 21 June 2012 in this UK-wide festival – a chance for everyone to celebrate London 2012 through dance, music, theatre, the visual arts, film and digital innovation and leave a lasting legacy for the arts in this country.

 Principal funders of the Cultural Olympiad and London 2012 Festival are Arts Council England, Legacy Trust UK and the Olympic Lottery Distributor. BP and BT are Premier Partners of the Cultural Olympiad and the London 2012 Festival. The British Council will support the international development of London 2012 Cultural Olympiad projects. Panasonic are the presenting partner of Film Nation: Shorts

For more details visit