Tate Britain Performance

Late at Tate Britain: April 2013 Exile

Kurt Schwitters Merzbau 1933

Late at Tate AS12

British Sea Power's Yan at Tate Britain

Jap Blonk, unknown photographer (2009)

Film and Video Umbrella, Merzbank 2013

Helen Petts, Throw Them Up and Let Them Sing

Annie Whitehead and Michael Horovitz

Late at Tate Britain

This event explores the continuing influence of Kurt Schwitters on contemporary art, music and poetry.

Expect a vibrant evening of performances from Jaap Blonk, Steve Beresford, Adam Bohman, Christopher Fox, Michael Horovitz and friends, The Moveable Column, Film and Video Umbrella, film-maker Helen Petts and intervention from the British Sea Power frontman Yan*.

Plus, the exhibition Schwitters in Britain will be open late.

* Please note British Sea Power will not be performing at Late at Tate Britain: April 2013

Christopher Fox 

Christopher Fox will be presenting a new work called Dark Roads performed by Trio Scordatura. Exploring themes of exile, detritus, transience and absence in relation to Schwitters life. Fox presents this new piece for solo cello with treated motorway noise and text by Ian Duhig, based on the Irish song of exile 'Róisín dubh'. 

Christopher Fox's work Three Constructions after Kurt Schwitters was rebroadcast recently on Radio 3, listen to it here.

Film and Video Umbrella

MerzBank is a repository of artists’ online works that draw their inspiration from that trailblazing exponent of collage, Kurt Schwitters. Guided by his innovations in the visual arts, in spoken word, in typography and poetry, the project anticipates how Schwitters’ mercurial spirit might have flourished in the online world. Newly commissioned works by Nick Crowe & Ian Rawlinson, Iain Forsyth & Jane Pollard and Alec Finlay reflect the many different facets of Schwitters’ aesthetic while exploring today’s ever-expanding outlets for combining and communicating images, texts and sounds.

Artworks in this project are free downloads available at merzbank.com

MerzBank is commissioned by Film and Video Umbrella. Supported by Arts Council England.

Helen Petts

There will be a looped screening of Throw Them Up and Let Them Sing a recent work by artist filmmaker Helen Petts which explores the later years of Schwitters's life and work through landscape, collage, sound and walking. With merz-type sounds contributed by Sylvia Hallett, Adam Bohman, Roger Turner and Phil Minton. The film was commissioned by the Hatton Gallery Newcastle and the London 2012 Festival, funded by the Arts Council of England.

Michael Horovitz and friends

Schwitters inspired live improvised music and poetic voicings from Michael Horovitz and his troupe featuring Annie Whitehead's trombone-vocals, Pete Lemer on piano and Jennifer Maidman bass guitar and vocals.

Steve Beresford and Adam Bohman

Sonic explorers Steve Beresford and Adam Bohman will be in collaboration to provide some Schwitter’s inspired soundscapes including a performance of Schwolpe-an improvisation on An Anna Blume which starts with an improvised piano solo by Steve Beresford followed with Adam Bohman improvising on various objects. With additional spoken texts drawn from the English translation of the poem.

Jaap Blonk

Jaap Blonk is a Dutch avant-garde composer and a leading performer of Schwitters's sound works. He will be performing Ursonate as well as other lesser known works.

Yan (British Sea Power) – K Boxes

Yan has devised a work called K Boxes. The work is a modern reinterpretation of Kurt Schwitters' 1922 primal sound poem, the Ursonate. The ambient soundscape has been created using only Schwitters own voice recording of the Ursonate. This extremely transformed and multi layered rendering of the sound poem uses a kind of sonic collage to draw out, evoke and reflect upon several key elements of the artists life and creative ideas.

The Moveable Column

Jesse Ash and Cally Spooner present a live version of their radio show The Moveable Column, adopting an informal radio talk show format they will explore the movement and behaviour of speech and 'liveness' via an indirect enquiry into the movement and behaviour of Schwitters's Merzbau.  Using Peter Bissegger and Harold Szeemann’s reconstruction of Kurt Schwitters’s Merzbau as a starting point, the show explores the possibilities of reconstruction, finitude, rehearsal, performance, and progress, that surround Merzbau's history and present status both in Hanover and the UK.


Expect surreal Dada styled intervention from ICHI the one-man band with a mix of handmade instruments, a steel-drum, ping-pong balls, xylophones and more.

Eleanor Dennis

Scottish soprano Eleanor Dennis will be accompanied with Florian Kaplick on piano performing a selection of Kurt Weill songs from his German period

Tate Britain

London SW1P 4RG
Plan your visit

Date & Time

5 April 2013 at 18.00–22.00

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