TATE Exchange: Fairground Diaries – Thursday (13 April)

The Politics and International Relations programme at Canterbury Christ Church University has collaborated with local organisations and schoolchildren to curate and present a live art intervention held at the Tate Modern: “Waste Not, Want Not”. Curated as part of the Tate Exchange programme, the intervention will be live from Wednesday 12 April until Saturday 15 April 2017. Dr David Bates, director of Politics & IR, reports from the scene of the ‘Fairground’:

“Watch out: The Fairground is in Town!

We had 826 visitors to our Fairground on Wednesday, and it looks as though Thursday will have topped this. We have had some really great responses from all who have attended.

Our students have engaged the public with ideas about gender, ethnicity, social class, intergenerational inequality, disability, marginalisation and exclusion.

It has been vital to experiment with these discussions in an ‘elite’ gallery space. It is great that Tate have set up the Exchange project so we can unsettle the status quo.

But, to what extent can the typical ‘Tate demographic’ engage with groups who they would rarely encounter in such a space?

The conversations I have had so far have been interesting.

Some people clearly would prefer that the class constituted distinction between high and low art be maintained. Why are these people in our space? Do these young people really have to be so noisy? A gallery is a space for serious contemplation, not fun! (Rarely has enjoyment been more of a political act!)

But others have been open to discussing the dynamics of privilege which we have set out to challenge. We have engaged people from across the globe in political conversation, without any form of ‘sugar coating’. The sense of solidarity which these conversations have engendered has been profound.

Perhaps the most powerful moment for me was in a reception event for all our partners at the close of the day. Young people from Valleys Kids and Astor College spoke about what it means to them to be able to come to London and produce work in the Tate – to constitute the Tate space as ‘their space’.

The ‘social elites’ who think the Tate – and other institutions oh ‘high art’ – are for them and them only, better think again: The fairground is in town!”

Find out more here: http://www.tate.org.uk/whats-on/tate-modern/workshop/tate-exchange/fairground

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TATE Exchange: Fairground Diaries – Tuesday and Wednesday (11 & 12 April)

The Politics and International Relations programme at Canterbury Christ Church University has collaborated with local organisations and schoolchildren to curate and present a live art intervention held at the Tate Modern: “Waste Not, Want Not”. Curated as part of the Tate Exchange programme, the intervention will be live from Wednesday 12 April until Saturday 15 April 2017. Dr David Bates, director of Politics & IR, reports from the scene of the ‘Fairground’:

“We finished installing ‘Waste Not Want Not’ into floor 5 of the Switch House, at Tate Modern at 6pm on Tuesday. We got back to Canterbury at 9pm, then back to London for a 10am start.

When the doors opened, the people started to flood in. As the saying goes ‘build it and they will come’! 

All the work in our fairground looks fantastic.

Robert – a talented Slovakian student from Astor College in Dover – has produced a work called ‘The Booth’. Visitors to the exchange seem most curious to see what is inside!

Reece also from Astor college has completed his ‘House of Horrors’. For some reason, members of the public are using this to take ‘selfies’. I have no idea why!

The work by Valley’s Kids – all the way from the Rhonda Valley in Wales – is wonderful. (See their ‘Merry-go-round of Arts and Ideas’.)    

Our colleagues from People United are enjoying lots of success with their work ‘For Me For You’, which explores the idea of reciprocal altruism.

And the work of the artist Holly McKenzie encourages you to ‘Smash the Patriarchy’!

Finally, we must note that Susannah Campbell and Lewis Bloodworth, two of our own Politics and international Relations students from CCCU, were part of the live art piece ‘Test Your Mental Strength’, a two hour discussion of concerns of a theoretical nature. Joining with visitors to Tate, we debated such questions as: ‘Democracy: Is it Worth It?’ ‘You read all em books, but you don’t know what’s living!’; ‘Survival of the unfit’; ‘gender and being a woman’; ‘the industry of love’; ‘Is there a world beyond capitalism?’

I encourage everyone to roll up to take exchange – open until 6pm on Saturday.”

Find out more here: http://www.tate.org.uk/whats-on/tate-modern/workshop/tate-exchange/fairground