Press Release

BMW Tate Live: Cally Spooner And You Were Wonderful, On Stage • • Twitter @tate #BMWTateLive

Cally Spooner, And You Were Wonderful, On Stage 2013; performance on stairs

Cally Spooner, And You Were Wonderful, On Stage 2013
Photo: © Paula Court, courtesy of Performa

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 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.

Visitor Information

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
Thursday 27 February, 20.00 GMT, free

Cally Spooner

British artist Cally Spooner lives and works in London. For her performance pieces, Spooner produces plotless novellas, disjunctive theatre plays, looping monologues and musical arrangements to stage the movement and behaviour of speech. Her work includes writing, film, live performance, and broadcasting. Recent solo exhibitions and performances include And You Were Wonderful on Stage, Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam and Performa 13, New York; Post Show – Seven Thirty Till Eight, Kunsthal Charlottenborg, Copenhagen; Collapsing In Parts, International Project Space, International Project Space, Birmingham; Seven Thirty Till Nine, Shanaynay, Paris; and Cally Spooner: Footnote 5 with Dulcie Lewis and Peter Joslyn,CA, London. Cally Spooner is a recipient of the Paul Hamlyn Foundation Awards for Artists 2013.

BMW Tate Live

BMW Tate Live is a long-term partnership between BMW and Tate that features innovative live performances and events including live web broadcast, in-gallery performance, seminars and workshops. BMW Tate Live aims to reach an international audience through new forms of art, addressing audiences changing needs, tastes and interests in art. The initiative creates a new space for collaboration and a programme that encompasses performance, film, sound, installation and learning – areas where artists can take greater risks and experiment freely. The programme investigates transformation in all its guises and aims to provoke debate on how art can affect intellectual, social and physical change. More information at

BMW’s cultural commitment

For over 40 years now, the BMW Group has initiated and engaged in more than 100 cultural partnerships worldwide. The focus of this long-term commitment to culture is modern and contemporary art, jazz and classical music as well as architecture and design. BMW has worked with artists such as Gerhard Richter, Andy Warhol, Roy Lichtenstein, Olafur Eliasson, Jeff Koons, Zubin Metha, Daniel Barenboim and Anna Netrebko and commissioned architects such as Karl Schwanzer, Zaha Hadid and Coop Himmelbau. In London, BMW in partnership with the London Symphony Orchestra, hosts the BMW LSO Open Air Classics, a yearly live concert free of charge in Trafalgar Square, and supports Frieze Art Fair. 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. and