Pan Daijing by Sarah Piantadosi

Pan Daijing by Sarah Piantadosi

Taking place across the Starr Cinema, the Tanks and the galleries, Tate Modern announces its new autumn season of film and performance. The season showcases visionary artists who create powerful shared experiences, including world premieres of an experimental play by Pan Daijing and an immersive environment by Nkisi, the UK premiere of an award-winning film by Carlos Casas, and a striking live sculpture by Allora & Calzadilla.

In the Tanks this October, cutting-edge young composer and artist Pan Daijing will present the world premiere of a new play, Tissues. Performed by an ensemble of fifteen singers, actors and dancers, this powerful live work brings together aspects of opera, theatre, dance, cinema and poetry. It blends personal biography with experimental storytelling to take us into the mind and body of its wayward protagonist, moving from moments of love and tenderness to haunting melancholy and passionate eruptions of rage. It will be presented in tandem with Pan Daijing’s The Absent Hour, a performance installation in six hour-long acts.

Allora & Calzadilla’s performance Balance of Power will take place in multiple locations around Tate Modern in September and October. Three performers wearing military uniforms will execute a sequence of yoga ‘warrior poses’, becoming living sculptures within the gallery. The work juxtaposes the quest for internal balance with the blind adherence to standardised codes of behaviour. It will be the latest performance to be staged with the support of Tate’s Performance Activation Fund, which brings to life the growing number of performances that have been acquired by Tate for the national collection.

In the Starr Cinema, the film programme will continue to celebrate artists and filmmakers who challenge the conventions of the moving image. Structured into three regular strands – Pioneers, Artists' Cinema and Counter-Histories – Tate Modern’s film screenings often feature world and UK premieres, accompanied by conversations with the artists. The seasons launches with two immersive projects focusing on sound, while the latter half of the season offers audiences a chance to discover the films of visual artists such as Jill Magid and Coco Fusco, which give a fuller view of the projects and positions for which they have attracted headlines.

The Artists’ Cinema strand begins in September with the UK premiere of the award-winning feature Cemetery by Spanish artist Carlos Casas. Inspired by the story of Tarzan, this deeply sensory film follows an elephant and a mahout being pursued by poachers through the Sri Lankan jungle. Ten years in the making, its compelling mix of nature documentary, experimental film, road movie and soundscape raises crucial questions about our troubling times, from the environment to colonialism to extinction. Later that month, at September’s Uniqlo Tate Late, London-based Congolese musician and artist Nkisi (aka Melika Ngombe Kolongo) will present the world premiere of her multi-channel audio and visual experience The Spiral. Made specifically for the Starr Cinema and its surround sound system, this 45-minute performance invites the public to tune into perceptions of sound, image, space and time, and their connections to cosmic energies. The Spiral is conceptually rooted in both the ancient knowledge system of the West African Dogon tribe and the legacy of the late pioneer of spectral music, Gérard Grisey.

In October, German artist Helena Wittmann will present a special screening of her debut feature Drift alongside the London premiere of her short film Ada Kaleh. Showcasing Wittmann's exquisite cinematography, the works explore relationships between gender and landscape, spaces and emotions, movement and stillness. Ada Kaleh creates a tender portrait of a shared apartment, where the muted rhythm of daily life is reflected in the film’s slow pans, while Drift tells of two women’s encounters by the sea, unfolding into sublime, oceanic abstraction.

In November, Tate Film will host the London premiere of Jill Magid’s daring first feature The Proposal. The film chronicles Magid’s headline-grabbing attempt to return the work of Mexico’s most famous architect, Luis Barragán, to the public eye. Barragán’s professional archive was purchased privately in 1995 and offered as part of a marriage proposal to the buyer’s fiancée, since which time it has remained inaccessible. Magid’s film confronts the complex questions of national heritage and repatriation raised by this story, as well as art’s financial and symbolic value, and the struggle of private versus public ownership. As part of the regular Pioneers strand, Tate Film will stage a rare screening of the often-overlooked videos and Super 8 films of the late American artist Marcia Hafif. Best known for her monochrome paintings, Hafif's films offer a different view of her practice, exploring duration, movement, autobiography and feminism. The first showing of the artist’s films in the UK, this two-screening series will survey her short films of daily life and longer-form essay films, preceded by an introduction by co-curator Sebastian Schneider.

In December Tate will welcome back the influential Cuban-American artist, activist and writer Coco Fusco to present the UK premiere of her short films La Confesión and To Live in June with Your Tongue Hanging Out. A leading voice in feminist, decolonial and institutional critique, Fusco turns her attention to historical brushes between poetry and politics in Cuba – the country from which she is currently denied entry. These films consider the cases of poets Heberto Padilla and Reinaldo Arenas, whose works prompted imprisonment or censorship, and the contemporary resonances and ramifications of these cases.

Pan Daijing's Tissues and The Absent Hour and events in the Starr Cinema are presented as part of Tate Film, curated by Andrea Lissoni, Senior Curator, International Art (Film) and Carly Whitefield, Assistant Curator, Film. Performance at Tate Modern is curated by Catherine Wood, Senior Curator and Tamsin Hong, Assistant Curator, Performance. Allora & Calzadilla’s Balance of Power is curated by Dina Akhmadeeva, Assistant Curator. The programme is produced by Judith Bowdler, Production Manager. Tate Film is supported by In Between Art Film.


Please check Tate’s website for latest listings information:

Carlos Casas: Cemetery (+ Q&A)
18 Sep 2019, 18.30-21.15
£10 (concessions available)

Allora & Calzadilla: Balance of Power
19-22 & 26-29 Sep, 3-6 & 10-13 Oct 2019
Free, as part of Tate Modern’s displays

Nkisi: The Spiral
27 Sep 2019, 19.00-19.45 and 20.30-21.15
Free, as part of Uniqlo Tate Lates

Pan Daijing: Tissues
2, 4 and 5 Oct 2019
£12 (concessions available)

Pan Daijing: The Absent Hour
2-6 October 2019, 11.00 – 17.00

Helena Wittmann: Drift and Ada Kaleh (+ Q&A)
9 Oct 2019, 18.30-21.30
£10 (concessions available)

Jill Magid: The Proposal (+ Q&A)
8 Nov 2019, 19.00-21.30
£10 (concessions available)

Marcia Hafif: Ideal Women
23 Nov 2019, 16.00-18.00 and 19.00-21.00
£10 per screening (concessions and series ticket package available)

Coco Fusco: Cuba: Haunted by History (+ Q&A)
4 Dec 2019, 18:30-20:30
£10 (concessions available)

Coming soon: Sky Hopinka, Dóra Maurer, James Richards & Leslie Thonton, and Nástio Mosquito

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