Artwash is a groundbreaking exploration into the impact of oil branding in art museums internationally, and the creative dissent to end it. Artwash is out 20 April, the fifth anniversary of BP’s Deepwater Horizon disaster.
See press release. This page will be updated with launch event details.
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Toni and Bobbi
On April 20th 2010 in the Gulf of Mexico, the Deepwater Horizon oil rig exploded, discharging an estimated 4.9 million barrels of oil, making it the largest marine oil spill in history. While oil was still spewing from the ocean floor two months later, Tate Galleries held its annual Summer Party, celebrating 20 years of BP sponsorship of Tate. Two women in bouffant cocktail dresses entered the party. Right in the middle of the gallery, they spilled 10 litres of sticky black oil-like substance, then donned BP-branded disposable macs and attempted to clean it up, describing it as ‘tiny in comparison to the size of the whole gallery’, echoing BP CEO Tony Hayward’s widely criticised initial defence of the BP disaster.
Mel Evans was one of the two Liberate Tate performers. Five years later, she has authored an investigation into the workings of oil sponsorship of the arts.