Site-Specific Protest: Liberate Tate’s Performances At Tate Modern

This paper analyzes the site-specific performances of Liberate Tate, an artist collective that staged protests at Tate galleries to oppose the institution's sponsorship deal with the multinational corporation BP. Arguing that the aesthetic, spatial, political, social, and ecological components of Liberate Tate's works are intricately enmeshed, the paper offers a dose visual analysis of the performances in relation to one of their sites, Turbine Hall at Tate Modern. Doing so, the paper demonstrates how the artist collective reacted to the socio-political structuring of the physical space in their own political mode of aesthetics. The site-specific works of the group attend to and confront the museum space to such an extent that the intervened space becomes Liberate Tate's principal medium. Through their horizontal arrangement mode, choice of messy, dirty, and viscous materials, and approach to nature, culture, and history as inseparable concepts, Liberate Tate's site-specific performances challenge the hegemonic neoliberal rhetoric of Tate Modern. The contrasts and conflicts Liberate Tate introduces against the visual discourse of Turbine Hall not only reveals the dominant political, financial, and social order of the space but also transforms the museum albeit temporarily into a truly public space of democracy.

Citation Formats
E. Pinar, “Site-Specific Protest: Liberate Tate’s Performances At Tate Modern,” METU JOURNAL OF THE FACULTY OF ARCHITECTURE, vol. 36, no. 2, pp. 29–44, 2019, Accessed: 00, 2020. [Online]. Available: