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The River Resurfaces - reflecting on politically engaged art from the 1970s to today

The River Resurfaces – reflecting on politically engaged art from the 1970s to today

    I’m sitting talking with Caroline Tisdall, a friend who has known Platform since 1986. We first came into contact with her via the producer and curator Richard Demarco: along with him, she was among the first to champion artist Joseph Beuys in the English-speaking world. Beuys’ art and politics were critical influences in...
Conversations with Suzi Gablik  - Living in wartime.

Conversations with Suzi Gablik – Living in wartime.

  I’ve recently returned from a visit to my friend and mentor, Suzi Gablik, in Virginia, USA. She has been an inspiration to so many over the past 33 years since the publication of ‘Has Modernism Failed’, and later her book ‘Conversations Before The End of Time‘. Her work harnessed an ecological sensibility in the...
‘Art - Possibility – Action’ - creating spaces that are equal, democratic, free and luminous.

‘Art – Possibility – Action’ – creating spaces that are equal, democratic, free and luminous.

The storm of political events tosses us this way and that – first the election of Trump in the wake of Brexit, then the rejection of the far right Presidential candidate in the Austrian elections and the inspiring victory at Standing Rock in Dakota. Somewhat becalmed in the midst of the roaring gale, my mind...
"Art is direct, it challenges the authorities, the power structure" Ken Saro-Wiwa jr, 1968 - 2016

“Art is direct, it challenges the authorities, the power structure” Ken Saro-Wiwa jr, 1968 – 2016

Yesterday at All Saints Church in Fulham, London, we attended a celebration of the life of journalist, government special advisor, and digital tech innovator Ken Saro-Wiwa jr. His life was suddenly cut short at the age of 47. We are sorrowed by this profound loss to the Saro-Wiwa family, and of a talented man invested in...
Strip away the carapace – the Ice Age, BP, and the British Museum

Strip away the carapace – the Ice Age, BP, and the British Museum

It pushes me quickly to tears. I’m kneeling on the cold stone floor of the Great Court, legs tucked beneath me, one foot crossed under the other. I’m listening to a rendition of A Requiem to Sinking Cities – an agit-performance in the heart of the British Museum. Silent figures hold up two banners, ‘#DropBP’...
Open letter: BP can't buy our silence

Open letter: BP can’t buy our silence

Today’s Times has published an open letter from Mark Rylance, Naomi Klein, Nnimmo Bassey, Matthew Herbert, and 215 artists, actors, arts managers, musicians, frontline activists, campaigners, and scientists, arguing: We cannot afford another five years of BP-branded culture. Last Thursday BP announced the renewal of its flagship sponsorship programme. Its partners, this time: British Museum, National Portrait Gallery, Royal...
Tate loses in court over BP secrets as oil co. renews other cultural sponsorships

Tate loses in court over BP secrets as oil co. renews other cultural sponsorships

Press release: Tate loses in court over BP secrets as oil co. renews other cultural sponsorships  Information Tribunal rules Tate must reveal BP sponsorship fees for 2007-2011 in a legal victory for campaigners. Artists and campaigners promise fresh wave of discontent as British Museum, National Portrait Gallery, Royal Opera House, and Royal Shakespeare Company sign...
Statement: protest will escalate with BP's newly announced sponsorship deals

Statement: protest will escalate with BP’s newly announced sponsorship deals

Contact: Anna Galkina / 07942044472 / [email protected] Today BP announced new headline sponsorship agreements with the British Museum, Royal Opera House, National Portrait Gallery and Royal Shakespeare Company, providing the institutions with an average of only £375,000 a year each. This is less than the price of the average 2 bedroom flat in London, and 25% less...
Edinburgh Festival drops BP. And 1 in 2 Londoners think British Museum should do the same

Edinburgh Festival drops BP. And 1 in 2 Londoners think British Museum should do the same

The news is just in: the Edinburgh International Festival is not renewing its BP sponsorship – as confirmed by the festival on Twitter. Last year, Festival star Simon McBurney criticised the BP relationship, alongside Emma Thompson, Mark Rylance, and Caryl Churchill. Several theatres including London’s Royal Court and Arcola have joined the Fossil Funds Free...