Where: Tate Britain
When: I went the first of December, but it is done the first Friday of every month from 6:00 PM till 9:30 PM.
About the Makers:
- Tate Britain: It is part of the Tate network galleries in England with Tate Modern, Tate Liverpool and Tate St. Ives. It is known for being the house of British art from 1897 to 2000, being the oldest gallery in the network. Its collection to the nation is one of the largest in the country.
- Soofiya: Their practice centers in illustration, visual identity, and book design, focusing on the articulation of a commentary on gender, race, politics, and bodies through a DIY approach. More about Soofiya here.
- Linda Stupart: South African artist, she uses writing, sculpture and performance as a way of making visible and critiquing patriarchy. Most of the work made explores with queerness and magic as a space for protection and exploration of the self. More about her here.
Linda Stupart Installation
The Experience: The night talked about gender and identity. Everything was related to the topic, the music, the performances, the workshops, the people involved, and the pieces of art shown. This is one of the things that had surprised me more about London, the necessity to know and define your identity in every single sense of your life; this means that the clothes you wear, the music you listen to, the art you like, the art you make, the way you speak, the books you read, the books you create and the people you hangout with define you as a person at all its levels. For Londoners this is a normal state of their lives, but when you start seeing different places, organizations, events, and shows that try to define and speak about identity, you realize that people is looking for its own place in the world, that place to fit and to have a community where you are understood and supported.
Because of this the environment was chill and informal; in different places of the museum people gathered and discuss about life and the difficulties that their identity has; also you had the chance to have some drinks, eat something, sit on the floor, on a table, on the stairs. The purpose of all the event was to have fun and be surrounded by art and music. In some rooms people were painting and in others they were making collage, the proposal came from guest artists, and the one that I enjoyed the most was the workshop of Soofiya. There was a big table in the middle of the room with many kinds of material; there were also some videos and things to take home with you. The idea that inspired the activity was “Lost and Found” and some people were speaking about their identity, the struggles they lived to finally accept who they are and embraced it, finding this kind of environment a chance to speak and to be themselves.
In the Sacker Octagon, right in the middle of Tate Britain, there were some projectors and things going on. Based on the programme it was an installation of Linda Stupart. People had the chance to play with the objects projected and play with the figures they create. There were also a bunch of things in a corner, like it was garbage or a shelter, but in different places it talked about identity and how you manage to create it, making the pieces come together. This was the place with the biggest amount of people together. The good thing about this was that it was possible for me to listen to the music of the guest DJ, who had a projector with figures moving based on the music and its sounds.
To enjoy all the possibilities this Late at Tate gives, it's better to know the programme beforehand, so that you can actually plan for yourself to see everything, especially the performances, because they are presented a limited amount of times. It is also useful to know where to go, because I felt lost most on the time and I didn’t find a programme until the end of the night; when I was already going home and on the bus I realized how many things I actually missed. The information is very easy to get on the Tate Britain web page.
These events are thought for adults, but I believe that based on the content younger people can go and enjoy them. Flux is an opportunity to talk about identity and I am sure that any teenager struggling with who they are would find it very useful going to this event, so that they get the chance to talk with people and see different paths and options, to find their way and place. I totally recommend Late at Tate and hopefully I will be going again.