PRINT December 2012

Claire Bishop

Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker, Fase: Four Movements to the Music of Steve Reich, 1982. De Keersmaeker perfoming movement 3, “Violin Phase,” July 19, 2012. Photo: Hugo Glendinning.

ONE OF THE FEW HIGHLIGHTS of this past summer’s Cultural Olympiad, the UK government’s austerity-busting spending spree, was the July opening of the Tanks, Tate Modern’s new gallery spaces. Back in the days when Tate Modern was a power station, the Tanks, located just south of Turbine Hall, held vast supplies of oil. Now these enormous structures have been converted into fully equipped circular spaces designed for performance, installation, and film—apparently the first museum galleries in the world to be dedicated to these modes, and a significant departure from the 1960s arts-center approach, in which activities were divided into either “white cube” galleries or “black box” theaters. The inaugural program, a fifteen-week festival called Art in Action, placed a strong emphasis on female artists using approaches hitherto somewhat marginalized in museum exhibitions, including

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