Press Release

The World as a Stage

The World as a Stage: Press related to past exhibition.

Tate Modern  Level 4
24 October 2007 – 1 January 2008

The World as a Stage explores the rich historical relationship between visual art and theatre. The exhibition brings together a key group of sixteen international, contemporary artists and comprises a selection of large installations, sculptures, performances, films, participatory works and events. It includes a number of new works made especially for the exhibition.

A central theme is the extent to which a sense of theatre, or spectacle, has an impact upon the gallery visitor’s experience. Different elements of theatre – back stage, actors, props and audience – are considered in relation to the customs of art and exhibition making – studio, gallery, artist and viewer.

Works are displayed both inside and outside the exhibition space drawing attention to the theatrical nature of the everyday and incorporating the viewer into the work as both willing participant and oblivious performer viewed by others. Jeppe Hein’s Rotating Labyrinth 2007 is a mirrored theatre labyrinth which the viewer can step into. Once inside, the curved walls gradually align so that the rest of the gallery is obscured. Surrounded by mirrors, the visitor can be viewed by other people in the gallery as their reflected image is fractured and multiplied.

The centrepiece of the exhibition is Rita McBride’s Arena1997, a fibreglass sculpture in the form of stadium seating which will be used to stage a live performance on 27 October. The exhibition also includes Mario Ybarra Jr’s Sweeney Tate 2007. Ybarra has transferred the barber shop where he runs a gallery in ChinaTown, Los Angeles, to Tate Modern. The installation includes numerous drawings and objects that reflect on barbershop culture. The artist will invite international barbers to take part in a one-day event on 3 November where a winning hairdresser will be chosen.

Other highlights include Jeremy Deller’s installation and video The Battle of Orgreave Archive (An Injury to One is an Injury to All) 2004 which explores the events of 1984 when the National Union of Mineworkers went on strike culminating in the police and strikers’ charge through the village of Orgreave. The video depicts a re-enactment by one thousand participants, many of whom were involved in the original action. The final act in the exhibition is Dominique Gonzalez-Foerster’s atmospheric blue room installation, Séance de Shadows II 1998, which transforms the visitor into a performing ethereal shadow cast on the long exit wall of the gallery.

The artists featured are Pawel Althamer (b 1967), Cezary Bodzianowski (b 1968), Ulla von Brandenburg (b 1974), Jeremy Deller (b 1966), Trisha Donnelly (b 1974), Geoffrey Farmer (b 1967), Andrea Fraser (b1965), Dominique Gonzalez-Foerster (b 1965), Jeppe Hein (b 1974), Renata Lucas (b 1971), Rita McBride (b 1960), Roman Ondák (b 1966), Markus Schinwald (b 1973), Tino Sehgal (b 1976), Catherine Sullivan (b 1968) and Mario Ybarra Jr (b 1973).

The exhibition is curated by Jessica Morgan, Curator of Contemporary Art, Tate Modern andCatherine Wood, Curator of Contemporary Art & Performance, Tate Modern. The World as a Stage will tour to the Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston, from February 1 - April 27, 2008and the exhibition is accompanied by a fully illustrated catalogue priced at £12.99.

The World as a Stagewas made possible through the generous support of Helen Thorpe and additional funding from Kirk Radke,Paulo Albert Weyland Vieira, the Polish Cultural Institute, Canada House Arts Trust,Goethe-Institut London and the Institut Français du Royaume-Uni.

Pawel Althamer project in collaboration with our creative partner Platform for Art, the art programme for London Underground. The screening of Pawel Althamer's RealTime Movie was facilitated by Curzon Soho and Renoir.