Press release: Liberate Tate with The Guerrilla Girls calls on Tate to go ‘Fossil Funds Free’ (in association with Platform London)

Glen at Liberate Tate on 07919 557055, [email protected]

Photos will be available –  see twitter handles below – hashtag #fossilfundsfree

Saturday 8 October (7pm) art collective Liberate Tate with The Guerrilla Girls will challenge Tate to never again partner with any fossil fuel company after its controversial relationship with BP ends in early 2017.

Liberate Tate, who carried out a six-year long series of unsanctioned art interventions in Tate galleries over BP sponsorship, will issue the challenge at Tate Modern from the Guerilla Girls’ Complaints Department in the new Switch House building. In this installation, individuals and organisations are invited to post complaints about art, politics, the environment or other issues they care about.

Tate will be called upon to make the Fossil Funds Free commitment: a promise to not take any oil, coal, or gas corporate sponsorship. Already hundreds of institutions and artists, including some exhibited at Tate, are signed up to be Fossil Funds Free. The commitment is coordinated by Platform London, who will also be at Tate on Saturday.    

Glen Tarman of Liberate Tate said: “In kicking BP out of Tate, the movement for fossil free culture has achieved something that appeared impossible. We are now calling on Tate to commit to not get into bed with a climate changing company ever again – to be ‘Fossil Funds Free’ for good.”

“We invite artists, Tate visitors and art lovers everywhere to join us in pressing Tate to add oil companies to tobacco and arms manufacturers as companies never to be associated with. If you agree that cultural institutions should not take sponsorship from oil companies in a time of climate change, make sure Tate and other museums you care about are part of a cultural world going fossil free forever.“

On their present trip to London The Guerrilla Girls have a message on sponsorship and art museums promoting the oil industry, they say: “It’s time to get out!”

“In an early poster of ours called The Code of Ethics for Art Museums, one of the commandments was: thou shalt not permit corporations to launder their image by funding exhibitions at major museums, until they cleaneth up their toxic waste dumps and oil slicks. That was back in 1990, so we stated that problem early, and we stand by it.”

Platform campaigner Anna Galkina said: “Sponsorship masks BP’s role in destroying indigenous lands, arming dictatorships and wrecking our climate. That’s why artists and art organisations are going Fossil Funds Free. Now becoming free of BP, Tate can take this next step! We invite others across the world to join.

The Fossil Funds Free commitment is so far made by 400 artists, performers, and cultural organisations from around the world. They refuse their work to be used to justify and promote dangerous fossil fuel extraction. By creating an oil-free cultural sector, this movement is enabling the transition to a liveable future without fossil fuels.

Open invitation to artists and public / photocall:

Saturday 8 October 7pm Liberate Tate at the Complaints Department operated by The Guerrilla Girls, Tate Exchange, Level 5, Switch House, Tate Modern –

You can complain about other stuff too whilst you are there, join Fossil Funds Free, and/or call on Tate to do so!

Notes to editors: 

A full list of signatories and information on Fossil Funds Free is available at

End notes:

  1. Liberate Tate ( @liberatetate) is an art collective that has been exploring the role of creative intervention in social change by making unsanctioned Live Art in Tate gallery spaces since 2010. With an aim to free art from oil, Liberate Tate initially focused on Tate ending its sponsorship deal with BP, and in March 2016 Tate announced that from 2017 it would no longer receive funding from BP. Liberate Tate performances have ranged from installing a 16.5m wind turbine blade in the Tate Modern Turbine Hall to occupying the gallery overnight in a durational performance transcribing texts in charcoal onto the floor.
  2. The Guerilla Girls ( @guerrillagirls) is a group of female artists, writers, performers and arts professionals fighting discrimination with humour, activism and art. For more on the Complaints Department at Tate: Tate has The Guerilla Girls’ Code of Ethics For Art Museums in its collection
  3. The Fossil Funds Free commitment ( ) states: ‘We do not take any oil, coal, or gas corporate sponsorship for our cultural work. We call on our peers and institutional partners to refuse fossil fuel funding too.’
  4. The Fossil Funds Free commitment is coordinated by Platform (, @PlatformLondon) with support from Liberate Tate as well as the Art Not Oil Coalition (UK), Not An Alternative (US), The Natural History Museum (US), BP Or Not BP? (UK), and Stopp oljesponsing av norsk kulturliv (Norway).
  5. BP sponsorship of Tate lasted just over 26 years. In February 2017 BP will be gone from Tate with the end of the present contract. In July 2017 former BP CEO John Browne leaves as Tate’s Board Chair. Liberate Tate are also calling for the incoming Chair to have no ties to fossil fuels extraction, as Browne still has, such that Tate’s damaged reputation with artists and the climate-conscious public can be repaired from the poor judgements of the past and Tate can be part of the climate solution not part of the problem.