LADA Screens: Liberate Tate – Launch Event

Birthmark
Online from 30 April ­13 May 2016

Live launch event , Saturday 30 April 
11am – 4pm live tattooing
5.30pm – 7pm, introduction to Liberate Tate, screening of 'Birthmark' and other films, open discussion, free – Booking essential 

Climate change is permanent; so are tattoos. 

Liberate Tate make unsanctioned performances in defiance of BP’s sponsorship of Tate. 'Birthmark' began in the run up to the international climate talks in Paris as the artists invited Tate to reconsider their sponsorship deal with BP, and to begin to erase this scar from their skin.

For this LADA Screens launch event we are hosting ‘Birthmark’, a project which explores lasting damage, scarring, and healing. Numbers are written on the body, brands are written on the gallery and, as carbon is released into the atmosphere, damage is written on the planet. 

In response to climate change, this performance embodies the revisions being inscribed on our planet in an intimate, personal way. Each tattoo echoes the engraving act by the oil sponsor in transforming the body of the gallery. The performers receive tattoos in the form of a number – the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere expressed as parts per million (ppm), in the year of their birth. A performer born in 1962 (318ppm) compares the changes they’ve seen with a performer born in 1993 (357ppm). Being born in the same year has a new meaning – living through the same increase in carbon dioxide.

There is a rich history of tattoos in art and protest, but protest tattoos as performance intervention in a gallery space is unprecedented. Since the first performance intervention at Tate, many more people have received Birthmark tattoos around the UK and as far as Copenhagen, Paris and New York.

Following the tattooing there will be a screening of the film 'Birthmark' by Liberate Tate, a film documentation of the unsanctioned live performance in Tate Britain. Followed by an open discussion which will consider ‘Birthmark’ and activist strategies in relation to the recent news that within a year BP’s sponsorship of Tate will end.  

About LADA Screens

LADA Screens is a series of free, online screenings of seminal performance documentation, works to camera, short films/video and archival footage. It is part of Live Online, LADA’s dedicated space where you can watch short videos and films drawn from LADA’s Study Room or generated through our programmes and initiatives. Each screening will be available to view for a limited time only, and will be launched with a live event at the White Building in Hackney Wick, London. Online art magazine, thisistomorrow will also feature the films on their website for the duration of the screenings. 

LADA Screens is curated by the Live Art Development Agency (LADA). LADA is a 'Centre for Live Art': a knowledge centre, a production centre for programmes and publications, a research centre setting artists and ideas in motion, and an online centre for digital experimentation, representation and dissemination. For more information about LADA Screens please contact Alex Eisenberg.

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