London's Tate Modern has recently opened the Tate Tanks, as the first part of the museum's larger extension project, which is scheduled for completion in 2016. Swiss architects Jacques Herzog and Pierre de Meuron, who completed the last extension to the institution, are responsible for the tanks, as well as the rest of the new addition.
The Tate Tanks are raw, industrial spaces which will now provide an anchor and home for the live art and film programmes previously presented in diverse spaces around Tate Modern. These massive industrial chambers, former underground oil holding containers, have lain unused since Bankside Power Station was decommissioned in 1981. "Our intervention in these found spaces is as subtle as possible," state Herzog & de Meuron. "A meticulous mapping process of the existing concrete walls and ceilings revealed damages and conditions where careful patching was needed. The original patina with all its stains, marks and discolouration was preserved and the new concrete blends subtly into the overall patchwork. A row of new and inclined concrete columns penetrate the space and introduce a moment of structural force of what will be built above over the next years. "
Until 28 October, the Tanks will host Art in Action, a 15-week programme of performance, dance, mass participation events, video art and installation and the historical works that have shaped these art forms. The festival allows audiences to explore new developments in art practice and learning, see bold new work being developed by artists, and engage more deeply with the programme. The first installation created especially in The Tanks is Korean artist Sung Hwan Kim's The Tanks Commission, a world of optical illusions that draws on a rich history of performance and film. Simultaneously, Tate displays some of the works from its collection, as well as a series of live events. The Tanks seek to be the world's first museum galleries permanently dedicated to exhibiting live art, performance, installation and film works.
Through 28 October 2012
The Tanks: Art in Action