Tate workers are on strike this week against planned redundancies being made by the management of Tate Enterprises Ltd. We responded to this in our comunique: https://www.psychogeography.org/tate-bastard/
It should also be noted that redundancies are also taking place just across the river at the Southbank https://saveoursouthbank.com/ – and across London alone, thousands of jobs in the arts have been lost in the last month.
We have also seen in education, eg at Goldsmiths arts college that it is the worst paid, least protected and most precarious workers that are often at risk and victim to the measures anti worker and capitalist policies of management in arts, from the government and commercial companies.
it has proven impractical for workers to organise and solidarity even within the workplace or across jobs, let alone industries.
we were very disapointed therefore when PCS responded to our offer of a solidarity performance with the following:
Unfortunately this statement and proposal for performance does not meet our perspectives and we cannot condone it. While we appreciate your solidarity, the language in the writing goes too far and would be distressing to our colleagues (and fellow union members) working in the institution as well as our audience. Additionally, we don’t know that you are authorised to use the words or performance of the artist Rasheed Araeen and we feel that he could potentially be upset that his work is being used in this context.
Especially disappointing because despite claiming to be concerned that it was BAME employees most affected by these cuts they could not give a platform to uncompromising “Black British Art”.
We therefore decided to attend anyway, out of respect and solidarity for the workers. The Transient Art Strike Biennial Supreme Council of One spoke to the crowd relating how when they were artist in residence they had to insiti on a contract and then get the union involved when the Tate tried to disregard it.
We had decided not to do our performance and banishing spell as intended. Rasheed Araeen’s gallery had already stated that they were interested in the performance but we decided against this in respect to the wishes of the PCS.
The The Transient Art Strike Biennial Supreme Council of One then lead our small group of psychic workers to Queens Hithe to perform the banishing spell we had planed.
The banishing spell, in the end, utilised elements of asemic writing, psychogeography and metagraphy in order to create a comprehensive situgraphic field that we are confident will begin to show results very soon. The Workshop for a Non Linear Architecture opened the cubic mobius strip while evoL PsychogeogrAphix completed the construction on the shallow beach at the banks of the Thames.
We also visited sites of slavers and colonialists and those who supported them in London – including the statue of John Smith and a plaque and pub dedicated to Samuel Pepys.
Despite the disgusting anti-worker responses from the establishment, such as the threats of redundancies at the Tate, we are excited about some of the radical changes to the cultural landscape in this country over the last few months . The toppling of the Colston statue in Bristol being a particular high point and we look forward to seeing more proletarian, people led, transformative aesthetic visions of the working class continuing to engulf and liberate public space in the near future…