GLOBAL CONNECTEDNESS AT THE HEART OF TATE LIVERPOOL SPRING PROGRAMME

This Spring Tate Liverpool will present two displays which connect audiences directly with global narratives about climate change, refuge and how our actions, wherever we are have an impact on all of these issues. From 9 April the gallery will be showing Candice Breitz’s Love Story, 2016, while from 24 April audiences can encounter a new commission by Mikhail Karikis called Ferocious Love 2020.

Presented for the first time in the UK, Love Story 2016 is a video installation by South African artist Candice Breitz (b. 1972) that explores the narration of the global refugee crisis. The work evolves out of interviews with six individuals who have fled countries such as Syria, Angola and Venezuela. In a first room, actors Alec Baldwin and Julianne Moore perform fragments from these interviews, condensing the refugees’ experiences into a single-channel montage. These performances are followed by the original interviews, presented in full in a second space.

Breitz’s work suspends viewers between the tragic first-hand accounts of individuals who would typically remain anonymous in the media and a slick retelling by two actors who are the very embodiment of visibility. Love Story analyses the process of emotional identification and the conditions under which empathy is evoked.

Ferocious Love is a new audio-visual installation reflecting on young people’s perspectives on an environmentally uncertain future. Karikis and his collaborators imagine a weather system in 2050 when there will no longer be seasons as we know them. Sung by members of the protest choir The Liverpool Socialist Singers, a composition of weather-like effects interprets the noises of wildfires, flooding and other extreme weather. Within this noise environment, a video installation features a speculative community of young people that reflect on whether the threat of climate change will bring them together or whether it will drive them apart.

Co-commissioned with Birmingham City University, Ferocious Love is inspired by young people’s environmental activism, echoing their awareness of the complexities of climate change. Avoiding alarmism, the installation focuses emotional responses and the need for mutual care in the face of the environmental crisis.

Over the Easter holiday families can get involved in a fun, free sculpture-making workshop. Led by artist Fiona Smith the gallery will provide all the materials needed to build 3D sculptures using clay, willow and card inspired by some of the artworks in the free Constellations display. The sculpture activity takes place daily from 8 to 19 April from 13:00 to 16:00. Younger visitors can also play with patterns and make art move using stencils to create colourful geometric shapes inspired the Op Art in Focus display on the second floor.

On 15 May both exhibitions will be open late for Light Night, Liverpool’s annual festival celebrating the city’s cultural organisations, fitting with this year’s concept of ‘home’ which will focus on wider themes of inequality, human rights, displacement, migration, refugee experience and planet earth. Alongside the exhibitions will be a evening of workshops, art, music and food, including a special performance by a the Choir With No Name – a singing group for people who have experienced homelessness and family activity crafting a 3D home using paper and collage.