While it might seem like a recent phenomenon, performance has been a part of Tate’s artistic programming since the 1960s. Drawing on records found in Tate Archive – including many previously unpublished photographs – the selection of case studies presented here shows the breadth of performance art events held at Tate over a period of nearly fifty years. These writings present detailed accounts of what these works entailed, and especially how artists have engaged the space of the museum – from its different physical sites to its staff and visitors and to Tate’s own historical legacy as a producer and repository of culture.

From these cases we can glimpse how performance has developed since the 1960s, and we can begin to see how Tate has changed as well.