Ostensibly a review of the new Tate Modern Tanks for exhibiting live and time-based art, Laura Cumming also makes some interesting observations about some of the implications and questions that arise from it. Of course we’ve covered this subject previously in posts on this site and at our public Collecting the Uncollectable discussion last year.
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After a petition from “8,000 Tate members and visitors”, a tsunami of bad publicity executed masterfully by protesters, and a number of “black helium balloons tied to dead fish released in the Turbine Hall” which staff had to shoot down with air rifles, Tate has announced that they will soon make a decision about whether they’ll renew their sponsorship contract with British Petroleum in 2012. It could be that Tate already decided not to, and this is just a PR tactic so they can back out relatively gracefully without burning bridges. Or the opposite, possibly Tate already decided that the sponsorship will continue and this is pre-emptive damage limitation.
Note that even The Guardian unreflectively plays along with the company’s PR game of downplaying what their business is and complying with their rebrand as the intentionally vague “BP”.
Hurrah! Another opportunity to run yourself ragged working for nowt at one of Britain’s largest, most financially secure and well-funded (by multinational sponsors including BP) art galleries as a Volunteer Curatorial Intern:
The real kick in the nuts (or equal ops punch in the tits if you’re a woman) comes at the end of the document, regarding the climax of your
internship, the pinnacle of all you have achieved as a Volunteer Curatorial Intern: “Tate is unable to make an offer of employment at the end of the programme.” Of course not, there’s plenty more where you came from, sunshine.
Tate is also currently advertising for a Development Manager, Collections (up to £32,250 PA) and a Collection Research Manager (£27,150 PA) but you, desperate intern, will probably not be considered for these jobs.
Never mind though, you’ll be in good company. Tate doesn’t pay artists for their work, either.