Liberate Tate challenges the oil majors’ social license to operate, questioning whether the cultural majors, Tate, Royal Opera House, etc, should have sponsorship relationships. It’s not even charitable donations where there is no reciprocal benefit – sponsorship is precisely about business benefit.
In Edinburgh recently Bill McKibben held a rally for the Fossil Free campaign looking to get major institutions like the University and the Church of Scotland to divest their shareholdings in the fossil fuel industry.
Liberate Tate has done a number of performance pieces in the Tate in recent years, offering gifts, questioning procedures, holding the cultural institution to account. This riff on the rehang, with the black figures relating the rise in CO2 levels starting with the industrial revolution and moving literally, room by room, decade by decade, to the present day, is pretty good. The use of the context to provide the structure of the piece, the use of the human voice in a space which is normally hushed, a choir of catastrophe, focused on the need to create a cathartic climax after which we are all changed irrevocably.