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Tate Modern opens first 'live' show with mist, plants and a rave

Series of exhibitions dedicated to live art will be annual with BMW's support

by José da Silva  |  24 March 2017
Tate Modern opens first 'live' show with mist, plants and a rave
The Japanese artist Fujiko Nakaya with her new commission London Fog (2017) outside the Tate Modern (Photo: © Tate Photography)
The veteran Japanese artist Fujiko Nakaya has created a site-specific work made of mist as the centrepiece of BMW Tate Live Exhibition: Ten Days Six Nights (24 March-2 April)—the Tate Modern’s “first ever live exhibition”, says the museum director Frances Morris.

Nakaya’s work—titled London Fog (2017) and made in collaboration with Ryuichi Sakamoto and Shiro Takatani—is on show outside the museum’s new Switch House building. The exhibition brings together “old friends with new friends”, Morris says. Nakaya, who has “lifetime of collaboration” behind her—including with the US artist Robert Rauschenberg whose major survey is also on show at the museum—was the starting point for the exhibition, which combines performances, film, installations, music and dance.

There will be a “continuously changing programme” throughout the duration of the exhibition, says the show’s co-curator Catherine Wood. The exhibition, which is primarily housed in the museum’s subterranean Tanks galleries, is the first in a series of annual live exhibitions that will take place over the next four years, Woods says.  

  • Lorenzo Senni's Windows of Vulnerability ('No Fear' Version) (2017) (Photo: © Tate Photography)
  • Isabel Lewis's Occasion (2017) installation in the Tanks at Tate Modern (Photo: © Tate Photography)
  • Windscreen (2002) by the Mumbai group CAMP (Photo: © Tate Photography)
The exhibition includes works by around 20 artists, ranging from a rave dance music piece by the Italian artist and musician Lorenzo Senni to an immersive installation filled with plants by the Dominican artist Isabel Lewis, which will host several events including Angolan kizomba dancing, discussions and food and drink experiences. There are also interactive works by the US artists Wu Tsang and Fred Molten, and CAMP, a collaborative studio group from Mumbai. One-off live screenings and performances will also take place, including a piece by the Berlin-based choreographer and dancer Ligia Lewis in the Tanks as well as a dance performance by Min Tanaka within Nakaya’s mist and soundscape installation outside. 

Although Tate Modern has hosted live performances before—and for two days in 2015 the French choreographer Boris Charmatz turned the whole gallery into the Musée de la danse—the group exhibition is the first in a dedicated programme focusing on live works, many by artists who work in media that is not usually experienced in a traditional museum setting.  One of the aims of the exhibition is also  “to welcome unplaceable artists”, says the exhibitions co-curator Andrea Lissoni. The BMW Tate Live programme is sponsored by the BMW Group. 

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