Press Release

Tate Modern announces major arts festival

Tate Modern announces major arts festival: Press related to past news.

Tate Modern
26 May – 29 May 2006

Today Tate Modern is delighted to announce the programme for UBS Openings: The Long Weekend, a major four day festival at Tate Modern over the late May Bank Holiday 2006. This is the first in a series of live events supported by UBS.

It is the first ever arts festival to be held at Tate Modern and celebrates the rehang, UBS Openings: Tate Modern Collection, which opens on 23 May 2006. All of the events relate to the new displays and each day takes its name and theme from one of the major art movements which form the central hubs of the four new wings: Futurist Friday, Surrealist Saturday, Abstract Sunday, Minimalist Monday.

The festival will feature an exciting and wide-ranging programme of one-off performances by internationally renowned artists, performers and musicians. In addition to the performances, there will be screenings of rare and legendary films in the Turbine Hall accompanied by live music, and other activities throughout the weekend. These will include a skate park and graffiti workshops organised by Raw Canvas, Tate Modern’s youth advisory group, The Great Turbine Challenge, a 3000 square foot board game created by set designer Delia Peel, as well as special artist talks, food stalls and more. There is something for everyone.

The festival has been organised by a number of Tate members of staff led by Vicente Todoli, Director, Tate Modern, who says:

The rehanging of Tate Modern’s permanent collection will transform the gallery. For the first time in six years we have totally re-thought how the collection is displayed both in terms of context and style. Juxtaposing the very latest contemporary art with the major artists and movements of the 20th century gives Tate Modern a renewed energy and edge.

UBS Openings: The Long Weekend, which coincides with the opening of the rehang, will explore the interactive nature of art through a stunning programme of music, film and performance relating to the new displays. Nothing of this nature and scale has been produced at Tate before and none of this would have been possible without the wholehearted and significant support of UBS.

Jeremy Palmer, Member of the Group Managing Board, UBS, said:

UBS is delighted to be supporting such a dynamic and inspirational programme of activity around this major four-day festival at Tate Modern, and other live cultural events to take place in the future. Our shared vision with Tate is to open up art to wider and more diverse audiences. This wonderful cultural festival is one way we can make that happen.

For each day of UBS Openings: The Long Weekend there will be a spectacular, free, one-off performance during the day and in the evening the Turbine Hall will be transformed into a unique venue for film and live music. The sloping floor will be lined with a thousand cushions and an enormous cinema screen will appear above the bridge, with a stage below.

On Futurist Friday, a vibrant, bustling performance, One Pound Turbo Market, by Thai artist Surasi Kusolwong will fill the whole of the east end of the Turbine Hall. The artist will install coloured tables displaying kitsch and colourful plastic items from Thailand, all on sale for £1, allowing visitors to take a piece of art home. In the evening Walter Ruttman’s extraordinary film Berlin, Symphony of a Great City (1927) will be screened, accompanied by a live sound performance from DJ Spooky That Subliminal Kid, who is a conceptual artist, writer and musician working in New York.

On Surrealist Saturday, a spectacular promenade-style puppet parade, Merma Never Dies, designed by the Surrealist painter Joan Miro will be reinvented for Tate, 25 years after it was first shown. Puppets of Miro’s original design will feature, which range from 7ft giants with heads of monsters to small creatures that whisper and squeal, set to music. Hans Richter’s magnificent film Dreams that Money Can Buy (1946) will be shown in the evening and features some of the greatest names in the Dadaist/Surrealist movement. Artists such as Man Ray, Max Ernst and Marcel Duchamp were all involved in its making. The Real Tuesday Weld, aka acclaimed British singer-songwriter Stephen Coates has composed a score in response to the film which he will perform as a live accompaniment.

For Abstract Sunday, there will be a performance of John Cage’s Musicircus, produced by Richard Bernas. This will include a stream of musicians travelling from the banks of the Thames up into Tate Modern and through the gallery, culminating in an ensemble with public participation in the Turbine Hall. In the evening, the world famous jazz saxophonist Courtney Pine will perform the world premiere of his new score for Kenneth MacPherson’s recently restored cult film Borderline, starring Paul Robeson. The film score was commissioned through Necessary Journeys, an Arts Council England funded initiative in partnership with the British Film Institute’s Black World.

For a climactic finale on Minimalist Monday, Trisha Brown Dance Company will re-stage her seminal piece Man Walking Down the Side of a Building (1971) for the first time in over 20 years, in which a dancer will daringly descend the front facade of Tate Modern. Three leading international electronic composers/artists, Ryoji Ikeda (Japan), Carsten Nicolai aka Alva-Noto (Germany) and Robert Henke aka Monolake (Germany) will each perform a 30 minute set for the final evening. These performances combine live electronic music with large scale projections of computer generated graphics.

The festival will provide visitors with a unique opportunity to enjoy and enrich their understanding of international modern and contemporary art through performance, film and music. The majority of the programme will be completely free and is designed to be accessible to everyone. UBS Openings: The Long Weekend is planned for May 2007 and May 2008 as part of the Tate and UBS partnership. Throughout the year, there will also be a completely new bi-monthly programme of Performance Art at Tate Modern as part of UBS Openings: Live.

Tate and UBS share a vision to open up art. Together we have created UBS Openings, a dynamic and wide-reaching programme focused on the Tate Modern Collection.

The programme features the complete rehang of Tate Modern’s permanent Collection, including a selection of works from The UBS Art Collection, an annual cultural festival, regular live events and an exciting range of activities for families.

By working together, we believe that our unique partnership will enable us to reach out to more audiences than ever before.

Opening up art. Tate Modern Collection with UBS