Tate Modern’s new £260 million extension – the Switch House – is a dramatic twisted pyramid that fits perfectly alongside Herzog & de Meuron’s original conversion of the Bankside power station into a contemporary art powerhouse. The 10-storey addition (complete with 360 degree outside viewing gallery) increases the overall gallery space by 60%, facilitating the Tate in showcasing more exhibitions, films, performances and events than ever before – including new international acquisitions and pieces previously not displayed. It is the most important new cultural building to open in Britain since the British Library. The remarkable increase in space will allow the Tate to exhibit more female and international artists, displaying works by 300 artists from 50 countries (36% of which are female).
Floor 3 of the Switch House will become the new home of performance art, with four BMW Tate Live performances commencing during the extension’s public opening this weekend. Alexandra Pirici and Manuel Pemus’s site-specific ‘Public Collection Tate Modern’ performance transforms notable artworks from both the Tate and other public collections originally created in other media, whilst simultaneously critiquing our system of value.
The opening will be celebrated with free live performances, new commissions and a host of other special events. Talks and lectures are also set to take place in the revamped gallery this weekend. ‘Uniqlo Ten Minute Art Talks’ will see staff and volunteers give personal responses to their favourite artworks in the new Tate Modern collection displays, including works by Pablo Picasso, Louise Bourgeois, Ai Weiwei and Rebecca Horn. On Friday 17th June a series of Future Talks (‘Future Creativity’, ‘Future Spaces’ and ‘Future Cultures’) – curated by young people from Tate Collective London – will take place, encouraging ‘do it yourself’ attitudes towards making it in the creative industries. Friday night will also see the Tate host ‘Future Late’, a late-night event – also curated by Tate Collective London – consisting of interactive activities, installations and a unique audio-visual display.
The new Tate Modern opening weekend takes place 17th-19th June, from 10:00-22:00 daily.