London gallery opens space dedicated to live art

Mon Jul 16, 2012 12:02pm EDT
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By Li-mei Hoang

LONDON (Reuters) - London's Tate Modern gallery has unveiled its first dedicated space to live art and installations as part of plans to explore new areas of visual culture like video, photography and performance art.

The Tanks, which open their doors to the public on July 18, are the underground oil tanks belonging to the converted power station that have been transformed into a sleek exhibition space for artists to showcase their work.

"This is not a museum, this is not a gallery, this not a theatre. This is something different," said Tate Modern director Chris Dercon, who believed the unusual shape of The Tanks will challenge artists to adapt and create new work.

The conversion of the vast concrete cylinders are the first stage of the Tate Modern Project, a 215 million pound ($336 million) transformation which will see a new building added to the museum, helping to expand its size by 60 percent.

"The opening of the Tanks allows us to offer a different space in our programming so that performance, sound, moving images and participation can carry as much weight as anything else we are doing," Dercon told Reuters at a press preview on Monday.

Among the artists on show this summer will be South Korean Sung Hwan Kim and choreographer Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker who adapted her widely acclaimed 1982 performance, Fase: Four Movements to the Music of Steve Reich, for the opening of The Tanks.

Kim chose to divide the East Tank, one of two circular former oil containers, into two spaces.

Among the works on display was "Temper Clay", which focused on the theme of property by juxtaposing film of his parents' apartment in a modern high rise building with footage of their countryside home.   Continued...

A worker walks through The Tanks, new galleries within the Tate Modern art gallery in London July 16, 2012. REUTERS/Luke MacGregor