Human Cost, Tate Britain Performance – First anniversary of the Gulf of Mexico disaster
"Human Cost, Tate Britain Performance (87 minutes), charcoal and sunflower oil 20 April 2011 – First anniversary of the Gulf of Mexico disaster.
On the same day, 166 people who work in the arts published a letter in the Guardian calling on Tate to end its sponsorship relationship with BP. 'In the year since its catastrophic oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, BP has massively ramped up its investment in controversial tar sands extraction in Canada, has been shown to have been a key backer of the Mubarak regime in Egypt, and has attempted to commence drilling for oil in the Arctic Ocean. While BP continues to jeopardise ecosystems communities and the climate by the reckless pursuit of 'frontier' oil, cultural institutions like Tate damage their reputation by continuing to be associated with such a destructive corporation.
The massive cuts to public arts funding in the UK have left hundreds of culturally important arts organisations in a position of great financial vulnerability, which means that the debate about the appropriateness of particular potential corporate sponsors like BP and Shell is more relevant than ever. As people working in the arts, we believe that corporate sponsorship does not exist in an ethical vacuum. In light of the negative social and ecological impacts of BP around the world, we urge Tate to demonstrate its commitment to a sustainable future by ending its sponsorship relationship with BP.'"