Researchers from the University of Warwick have teamed up with international artists to put on a free 6 day public programme at the Tate Modern in London spanning the visual arts, film, photography, design, architecture, spoken and written word running from 14-19 March 2017.
The programme, ‘Who are we?’ is inspired by the Tate Exchange initiative. Tate Exchange is an ambitious ‘open experiment’ which allows other organisations and members of the public to participate in Tate’s creative process, running events and projects on site and using art as a way of addressing wider issues in the world around us.
The programme will feature four current research projects being conducted by University of Warwick academics who have collaborated with artists from countries including Serbia, Romania and South Africa to create installations and events. Visitors are invited to reflect on identity, belonging, migration and citizenship through arts, academic research and audience participation.
The work centres on these questions:
- What is becoming of Europe and the UK?
- What are we forgetting, and with what consequences?
- How does our colonial past connect to today's migratory movements?
- Can the creative uses of technologies, logistics, visual art and performances show us a glimpse of another Europe, another ‘We’?
Dr Yvette Hutchison, Associate Professor of Theatre and Performance and Dr Tim White Principal Teaching Fellow in Theatre and Performance both at the University of Warwick have worked with the writer and poet JC Niala, to create, ‘Who You Think We Are’ a conversational performance with audience participation, around language, the words we use, how we talk. Language reveals the markers of identity - objects, dialect, race, gender, ability. They ask the question, are we able to define who we think we are, and how we became us?
Dr Yvette Hutchison, Associate Professor of Theatre and Performance at the University of Warwick said:
“We have collaborated with JC Niala to create a conversational performance conceptualised to run about 45 minutes. It aims to engage and disrupt audience member’s internal assumptions about how we attribute identities to people without having met them. We will invite audiences to engage with the three of us through sharing images, stories and gestural repertoires we hope to playfully deconstruct first assumptions we make about people, while considering the deeper paradoxes of cross-cultural living, and how we create, perform and negotiate personal and collective identity and a sense of belonging.”
Dr Hannah Jones, Associate Professor in Sociology at the University of Warwick has worked with artists ‘There There’ Dana Olărescu and Bojana Janković on the development of ‘Trigger Warning’ a participatory installation that merges traditional games from English village fêtes with the xenophobia of the media's anti-immigrant, and specifically anti-Eastern European rhetoric. Visitors to the space are invited to experience the life of a typical immigrant as imagined by the British media over the last decade: the job-stealing, benefits-scrounging, non-integrated Eastern European.
Devised by ‘There There’ a 50% Serbian, 50% Romanian performance duo, ‘Trigger Warning’ is invigilated by a group of Eastern Europeans of different professional, economic and generational experiences.
Dr Hannah Jones, Associate Professor in Sociology at the University of Warwick said:
“Working with There There has been an excellent opportunity to bring to life findings from the Mapping Immigration Controversy project I have been working on with colleagues from four other universities, in which we found much government communication about migration is based on affecting public mood, rather than on facts. We are really excited about the event we will hold on the Saturday of Who Are We, in which members of the public will work with researchers and artists to create a ‘fake newspaper’ which actually reflects the realities of Britain and its migrant life, rather than the sensational ‘real’ headlines we see every day”
Dr Vicki Squire, Reader in International Security at the University of Warwick has been working with the artist Bern O’Donoghue, creator of ‘Dead Reckoning’, on an ever-developing project in the form of an installation made up of thousands of tiny, hand-marbled paper boats, each marked with a relationship to another person, bearing witness to the thousands of migrants and refugees who have died and continue to die whilst attempting to cross the Mediterranean Sea. Drawing on data from interviews carried out for the project 'Crossing the Mediterranean Sea by Boat', Dr Squire brings an interactive story map to the installation as part of a unique collaboration that combines social scientific research with an artistic endeavour aiming to promote reflection and engagement with an issue that often seems distant and removed for the reality of people’s lives in the UK.
Dr Vicki Squire, Reader in International Security at the University of Warwick said:
“This is the first time that I have worked so closely with an artist to combine research findings with creative intervention. As a mechanism for engaging diverse audiences and for thinking through the wider significance of our research, the experience has already been invaluable. I am excited not only about working further with Bern, but also about exploring the issues our collective work raises with people visiting and participating in our interactive installation at the Tate.”
Dr James Hodkinson Associate Professor in German at the University of Warwick will run a workshop entitled, ‘Wer sind Wir?’ (Who are We?) focussed on the theme of being different, being the same and being similar in multicultural societies. The workshop will explore these ideas, using contemporary and historical material from European media, history, arts, film, literature, and thought to activate and enrich visitors’ thinking.
Dr James Hodkinson Associate Professor in German at the University of Warwick said:
"My workshop uses ideas and images, largely from German history, to encourage visitors to think and relate differently to cultures and faiths they do not see as their own. In the workshop we will not only be thinking but experiencing – taking part in some ‘encounter’ experiments designed to break down perceived barriers, promote dialogue and, crucially empathy – the ability to share the perspectives of people we see as our ‘others.’"
The week of activity has been specifically designed for Tate Exchange and focuses on an ethos of collaboration, innovation, conversation, exchange and learning.
For more information please visit: http://www.tate.org.uk/whats-on/tate-modern/workshop/tate-exchange/who-are-we
To find out more about Tate Exchange please visit tate.org.uk/tateexchange. For press information about Tate please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 0207 887 8730 (for Tate Liverpool call 0151 702 7444). For high-resolution images visit tate.org.uk/press.
Notes to editors:
‘Who are we?’ Is a week of participatory installations, conversations, and learning labs curated by Tate Exchange Associates: Counterpoints Arts, University of Warwick, Loughborough University and The Open University as part of Tate Exchange project running from 14-19 March 2017.
Tate Exchange Associates
Tate Exchange allows other organisations and members of the public to participate in Tate’s creative process. Organisations from a wide range of fields well beyond the gallery’s normal reach have become Associates of Tate Exchange. This group will help to programme and run new dedicated spaces. Working in a spirit of generosity, openness and trust, the Associates will collaborate with one another around an annual theme inspired by the art on display. Tate Exchange will in time expand its group of Associates to include more partners from the UK and abroad, while consistently seeking to engage audiences which are new to the museum. For the full list of Associates and more information please visit tate.org.uk/tateexchange.
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