Press Release

Tate Modern to host the first ever Flux-Olympiad and other unique events as part of UBS Openings: The Long Weekend

Tate Modern
23 – 26 May 2008

Tate Modern’s Turbine Hall will be transformed for this year’s UBS Openings: The Long Weekend when it houses the first ever Flux-Olympiad. Fluxus artist Larry Miller will programme a series of flux-sports events over the three-day arts festival on the 23-26 May. Both Flux-athletes and visitors will be able to take part in a wide range of flux-sports including soccer games played on stilts, obstacle shoe races, slow speed bicycle races and the balloon shotput. Founding Fluxus artist George Maciunas (1931 – 1978) conceived the idea of a Flux-Olympiad in the 1960s but this event was never realised.

Now in its third year, UBS Openings: The Long Weekend celebrates the extraordinary moments of fusion between different art forms, such as dance, performance, installation and music. Programmed to animate Tate Modern’s permanent collection displays, this year’s festival is inspired by the States of Flux suite which explores the notion of flux in many ways - the rapid pace of technological change, the momentum of urban life and the influence of pop and experimental culture internationally throughout the last century. At the heart of Tate Modern’s States of Flux display is a room of material from the Fluxus movement and a display of work by Malian photographer Seydou Keita.

Along with featured works by Fluxus artist Alison Knowles, Larry Miller has arranged a series of performances and events by some of the key protagonists of Fluxus including Ay-O, Eric Andersen, George Brecht, George Maciunas, Takehisa Kosugi, Yoko Ono, Mieko Shiomi, Ben Patterson and Robert Watts. A performance of Alison Knowles’ iconic work Make a Salad will also take place in the Turbine Hall, for which the audience will be invited to participate by eating the giant salad that has been created.

Each evening, the Turbine Hall will be the dramatic setting for three unique performances of music, film and art. On Friday evening, there will be a rare showing of two groundbreaking films by the acclaimed Senegalese Director, Djibril Diop Mambéty, with a live musical performance by the innovative Congolese band Konono No.1. This performance will be in conjunction with the display of photographs by Seydou Keita.

On Saturday evening, there will be a spectacular presentation by Nan Goldin, who will project two of her seminal slide shows in the Turbine Hall, with a live musical performance by a special guest. Goldin’s The Ballad of Sexual Dependency and The Other Side consist of hundreds of iconic photographs taken between the 1970s and 1980s that document the vibrant New York subculture of the times. The Sunday evening screening will be a celebration of the inspiring technical and aesthetic advances of early computer animation, including key historical figures such as Stan Vanderbeek, Lillian Schwartz, and John & James Whitney. During the day there will also be a full programme of free interactive family activities, workshops and games aimed at all ages.