Bloomberg News

Tate, BMW Team Up to Commission Live, Web-Only Art Performances

October 13, 2011

Oct. 13 (Bloomberg) -- Tate, the U.K. network of galleries, said today that it’s teaming up with Bayerische Motoren Werke AG to commission art performances exclusively for live Web broadcast. The value of the BMW sponsorship was not disclosed.

BMW Tate Live, a four-year program, will be a virtual version of the giant art installations that Tate Modern orders up for its Turbine Hall. The first five commissions in 2012 will include works by choreographer Jerome Bel and by artist Pablo Bronstein.

Tate and BMW “both pride themselves on trying to find a new way of doing things,” Tate Director Nicholas Serota said at the launch on Tate Modern’s top floor. “The space we found is not the physical space of Tate Modern or Tate Britain, but the virtual space so many people are inhabiting now.”

Also at the presentation was Uwe Ellinghaus, BMW’s director of brand steering. He said BMW was “far more than a car and motorcycle manufacturer.”

“We don’t want short-lived sponsorships that create only a platform for events,” said Ellinghaus in an interview. “We want to be associated with these renowned institutions over time.”

“More and more of our current and future target groups are interested in arts and culture,” he said.

Tate Modern’s planned new building, designed by architects Herzog & De Meuron and budgeted at 215 million pounds, was also due to open in 2012. With only 150 million pounds raised so far, construction is postponed until 2016 at the latest, Tate said last month.

Oil Tanks

Instead, to coincide with the 2012 London Olympic Games, Tate Modern -- a former power station -- will open two huge circular spaces that were once oil tanks, and which were shown to reporters today.

“We can’t possibly be in a position where we start commissioning building without being certain that we have it in our funds to complete it,” Serota said in an interview.

“The trustees have said they want to get to a certain level of funding which they set for themselves,” he said. “At that point, they will steam ahead.”

“We’re still raising money: This is a busy week,” he said, referring to the Frieze Art Fair’s opening, which draws many investors and art collectors to London.

News and Information: Museum stories: {TNI MUSEUM MUSE <GO>}. Top arts and lifestyle stories: {MUSE <GO>}. More stories by Farah Nayeri: {NI NAYERI <GO>}.

--Editors: Mark Beech, Jim Ruane.

To contact the writer on the story: Farah Nayeri at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Manuela Hoelterhoff in New York at

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