Tate Modern Talk

BMW Tate Live: Museums: The Artists’ Creation

Meschac Gaba, Museum of Contemporary African Art in London, 2013

As the French dancer and choreographer Boris Charmatz prepares to transform Tate Modern into Musée de la danse in May, this public event is an opportunity to celebrate and critically investigate the phenomenon of artists creating their own museums.

Join us for a panel discussion with practitioners, theorists and experts from different fields to explore the diverse motivations behind artists setting up their own real and fictitious museums across the globe. What are the possibilities and challenges that museums as artworks pose and what is their role in relation to established institutions of art and the wider social, cultural and political realms in which these operate? 

Speakers include dancer and choreographer Boris Charmatz and artists Simon Fujiwara and Dayanita Singh. Chaired by Grant Watson.

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BMW Tate Live: Museums: The Artists’ Creation


Boris Charmatz

French dancer and choreographer Boris Charmatz was born in 1973 in Chambéry, Savoie. In 2009, Charmatz became director of the Centre chorégraphique national de Rennes et de Bretagne in northwestern France, which he promptly renamed Musée de la danse (the Dancing Museum). Charmatz’s idea was to articulate a concept of dance divested of notions of choreography, the institution and the national. Through this gesture, Charmatz emphasized the museum as a space not just for predetermined, scripted movement and exhibition, but as a living institution—replete with exuberance, surprise, affective response, and shifting forms and margins. He maintains an extensive international touring schedule, working on improvised pieces on a regular basis while also continuing his work as a performer with Tino Sehgal and Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker.

Simon Fujiwara

Born in 1982 (London, UK) Simon Fujiwara has created a complex and rich body of interconnecting works that encompass performance, film, installations, sculptures and texts. He studied architecture at Cambridge University and Fine Art at Städelschule in Frankfurt am Main. His work has been presented in group and solo exhibitions at institutions that include Tate St. Ives, UK, MoMA, NY, Julia Stoschek Collection, Dusseldorf, Museum of Contemporary Art, Tokyo, Kunstverein Braunschweig, and SFMoMA, San Francisco. He has participated in many biennials including Venice, (2009), Sao Paulo (2010), Gwangju (2012), Shanghai (2012) and Sharjah (2013) among others. Key works are housed in public collections including the Tate Collection, Hamburger Kunsthalle and Prada Foundation. In 2009 he won the Art Foundation Fellowship for Interior Architecture and in 2010 he won both the Cartier Award and the prestigious Art Basel Statements Baloise Prize. He has published two artists books, The Museum of Incest and 1982.

Dayanita Singh

Dayanita Singh is an artist who works with Photography. She was born in 1961 in New Delhi, India. She studied Visual Communication at the National Institute of Design in Ahmedabad and Documentary Photography at the International Center of Photography in New York. She has published twelve books: Zakir Hussain (1986), Myself, Mona Ahmed (2001), Privacy (2003), Chairs (2005), Go Away Closer (2007), Sent a Letter (2008) Blue Book (2009) Dream Villa (2010), Dayanita Singh (2010), House of Love (2011), File Room (2013), Museum of Chance (2014). In 2013 Singh was the subject of a landmark exhibition, Go Away Closer at The Hayward Gallery, London, which brought together 25 years of her work.

Grant Watson

Grant Watson is a curator, researcher, a tutor in curatorial theory at the Royal College of Art and is based in London. Recent exhibitions include How We Behave (Nottingham Contemporary and The Showroom in London), Social Fabric (Iniva, Lunds Konsthall and Dr Bhau Daji Lad Museum, Mumbai), Keywords: Art Culture and Society in 1980s Britain (Tate Liverpool), and the touring retrospective Sheela Gowda: Open Eye Policy (Van Abbemuseum, Lunds Konsthall and Irish Museum of Modern Art). Since the late 1990s, Watson has also worked with modern and contemporary art from India. He has been the Senior Curator at the Institute of International Visual Arts, London (2010–14), Curator at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Antwerp (2006–10) and Curator of Visual Arts at Project, Dublin (2001–6).

Tate Modern

Starr Cinema

London SE1 9TG
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Date & Time

12 May 2015 at 18.30–20.30