Institutions trust institutions: Critiques by artists of the BP/Tate parternship

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This article reevaluates the ethics of arts sponsorship by multinational capitalism as one consequence of the 2010 Gulf of Mexico catastrophe. Tate’s partnership with BP is the focus of scrutiny. BP is cast as not being socially responsible, with Tate drawn into a carbon-based economy of cultural institutions that lend weight to Big Oil. Attention is devoted to why and how artists traveling under the flag of institutional critique—Hans Haacke and three collectives of artists know as Platform, Art Not Oil, and Liberate Tate—seized the opportunity of Tate’s 2010 Summer Party to mark two decades of BP support and to challenge this partnership. Hans Magnus Enzensberger’s ‘‘consciousness industry’’ helps to locate current discussions on the privatization and social control of the public domain. An alternative perspective to relationships between business and the arts is offered.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)104-116
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Macromarketing
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2012


  • Corporate Arts Sponsorship
  • Institutional Critique
  • BP
  • Tate
  • Hans Haacke
  • Hans Magnus Enzensberger
  • Macromarketing

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