A total of 75 black-clad protesters took part in a 25-hour unsanctioned performance organised by activist art collective, Liberate Tate, last weekend. The aim? To urge the gallery to drop its sponsorship deal with BP, one of the world’s largest oil companies. Ellen Booth, one of the performers, describes the experience.
It’s 5:20am in the morning, and I’m sitting on a small folding stool at the side of Tate Modern’s Turbine Hall. It feels strangely soothing as I sit listening to the musical night time sounds inside the Tate Modern.
The drone of the air conditioning units forms the backdrop to a cacophony of dull repetitive chimes, scraping of chairs and cordons as cleaners work, distant frustrated clanging of management doors, and a ghostly gusting of wind through the corridors and rafters above.
In front of me, a bright line of books reflects the rising morning sun. To the left of these books, a cluster of friends and journalists sleep, sniffling and snoring, surrounding a store of precious water and food.