Hundreds of women over the age of sixty will converge on The Tanks at Tate Modern to participate in Suzanne Lacy’s new participatory artwork, Silver Action, a live and unscripted performance of staged conversations. Women from across the UK who took part in significant activist movements and protests from the 1950s to 80s have been invited to share their personal stories in a series of workshops, culminating in this day-long public performance.
Diverse groups of women will discuss their experiences and the impact and results of their actions and live documentation of the conversations – film, social media and text – will be projected on to the walls of The Tanks and out into the digital world through the Twitter tag #silveraction.
Silver Action explores current themes in social and political discourse and the role of personal commitment in influencing the public agenda through the activist histories of British women, many of whom are now in, or entering, old age and facing new challenges. It champions the inclusion and social relevance of older women and offers new ways of looking at the ageing experience and the role of women in social transformation.
You are invited to follow and join the conversations taking place in the space by following the #silveraction tag throughout the day, and sharing your thoughts and comments on the Tate blog and wider.
Silver Action follows the acquisition and installation of Lacy’s Crystal Quilt 1985–87 at Tate Modern in 2012, currently on display in the Transformers gallery. Crystal Quilt was initially conceived and experienced as a performance work, when 430 women over the age of sixty gathered in a Minneapolis shopping centre to share their views on growing older. The performance was broadcast live on television and was the culmination of the Whisper Minnesota Project, a three-year public artwork empowering and giving a voice to older women from diverse ethnic and social backgrounds
For more information about the artist Suzanne Lacy, you can visit the current installation in The Tanks at Tate Modern (on until 20 January 2013) or listen to the interview on BBC Radio 4, Woman’s Hour in July 2012 in which Suzanne Lacy talks about an earlier performance with older women, The Crystal Quilt, 1987.
With thanks to all the participants, volunteers, Tate Learning, Dr Margaretta Jolly, the London School of Economics Gender Studies Institute and Forster Communications.
BMW Tate Live is curated by Catherine Wood, Curator, Contemporary Art and Performance, Tate and Capucine Perrot, Assistant Curator, Tate Modern.