New Tate film series 1. Unlock Art: Bringing Performance Art To Life

Unlock Art © Tate Films.

Film still from Bringing Performance Art To Life, Unlock Art © Tate Films.

What do Frank Skinner, Alan Cumming and Peter Capaldi have in common, apart from being actors? Answer – they all feature in Tate’s latest series of films, Unlock Art. The series documents big ideas, themes and movements that have helped shaping the history of art. Eight films, hosted by a different presenter, will cover subjects such as the history of the nude, humour in art, Surrealism and Pop, with a new film being released each month.
I was curious to view the first film featuring Frank Skinner on Performance art. Skinner is a celebrity known largely for his trenchant wit and comedic performances. His own credibility on performance, albeit of a different kind, made for a good fit with the film, whilst his celebrity status no doubt added to the accessibility of the films. Unsurprisingly, the film is not a highbrow didactic lecture. Instead, Skinner delivers an entertaining 5 minute whistle stop tour covering the origins of performance, its many different guises from its inception with Dada to today, and its power in making us (re)look at the world and our place in it. Interesting archive footage includes Stuart Brisley’s performance And for Today….Nothing (1972) when the artist immersed himself in a bath of black debris for two weeks, John Cage’s Water Walk (1960) and Marina Abramović’s Rhythm O from 1974, when she invited the audience to inflict pleasure or pain on her, depending on their choice.
Unlock Art is a collaboration between Tate and Le Meridien Hotels, offering the ‘culturally curious’ a witty introduction to the world of art. Unlikely partners, one might think, but given that the plethora of biennials, art fairs and major exhibitions that pervade the art calendar, it’s surprising that a hotel chain hasn’t yet capitalised on the increasing prevalence of art events. In turn, Le Meridien are supporting the Outset/Frieze Art Fair Fund enabling Tate to buy work by emerging artists, with the result that the public gets to the see new art in a public institution.

New Tate film series: Unlock Art: Bringing performance art to life is the first of eight films which will be released on a monthly basis. Watch the film at http://lemeridienunlockart.starwoodpromos.com

 Unlock Art, © Tate Films

Film still from Bringing Performance Art To Life, Unlock Art © Tate Films

Unlock Art, © Tate Films

Film still from Bringing Performance Art To Life, Unlock Art © Tate Films

 Unlock Art, © Tate Films

Film still from Bringing Performance Art To Life, Unlock Art © Tate Films

Discussion Un commento

  1. November 19, 2013 at 10:19 am

    [...] total eight films will be unveiled over eight months by eight presenters. Last month’s film Bringing Performance Art to Life was presented by the hugely talented comedian Frank Skinner, other presenters include new Doctor [...]

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