Make like a Dadaist at this month’s Tate Lates
Sophie Taeuber-Arp’s multifaceted practice is the focus of the evening event spanning poetry, music, collage and dance.
- Lucy Bourton
- 8 September 2021
It’s Nice That is partnering with the Tate Modern for its Sophie Taeuber-Arp exhibition this summer (from 15 July – 17 October 2021), you can book tickets directly here.
A late night staple of the gallery scene, Tate Lates returns this September with its first exhibition-inspired event taking influence from the Tate Modern’s current retrospective on Swiss artist Sophie Taeuber-Arp. Opening at 6pm on 24 September, this edition of Tate Lates will feature an after-hours mix of art, music, film and food linking to both Taeuber-Arp’s boundary-pushing work and the playful, radical Dadaist practices that informed the artist’s career.
Tate Lates officially relaunched this past August, “and it was so good to reconnect with visitors, Tate staff and artists in person once again,” Liat Rosenthal, Tate Lates’ senior creative producer tells It’s Nice That. “I think we’ve all missed seeing people engaging with Tate Modern as a social space and to offer artists the opportunity to create in the gallery.” The first event directly highlighting an exhibition at Tate Modern, the team have invited artists to creatively respond, offering “an opportunity to see the work through new eyes, what resonates with them, what they draw inspiration from, and then how they develop these ideas in their own practice,” continues Liat.
Visitors to the Taueber-Arp-inspired Tate Lates can expect a cross-arts programme including DJ sets from Mira Calix, Elsa Hewitt and Cosmo Sofi, a dance-led performance by Gerrard Martin – inspired by the artist’s visual abstraction and avant-garde representations of dance – a screening of Hans Op De Beeck’s Staging Silence (3), as well as a series of ten-minute talks where staff and volunteers will share their personal insights into works from the Tate’s collection. For Liat, Gerrard Martin’s performance is an exciting example of how Tate Lates casts a new lens on the featured artist’s practice. Visitors can expect the choreographer to demonstrate “Sophie Taeuber-Arp’s experience as a dancer, her training with Laban and her performances, but also how the language of geometry can be translated into a physical movement score, or explore the somatic response to the various textures or colour palettes,” the senior creative producer explains.
There will additionally be a series of workshops informed by the varying disciplines Taeuber-Arp dipped into across her career. For example, taking influence from her geometric style of work, featured in everything from paintings to puppets, there will be an area to experiment with colourful props and have a portrait taken in Tate’s DIY studio. Elsewhere there will be a Dada-focussed workshop offering visitors the opportunity to create and adorn their own paper puppets, inspired by Taeuber-Arp’s King Stag marionette characters and Dadaists designs. Finally, there will also be a Dada poetry workshop built around the movement’s rejection of “reason in favour of spontaneity” inviting visitors to assemble their own Dada-inspired poem by choosing words at random and contributing to a collaborative giant poem.
A multifaceted event to welcome visitors back to Tate Lates, whether you’re a writer, dancer, graphic designer or illustrator, it will take over Tate Modern’s space with activities for any creative. Most of all the event portrays Taeuber-Arp’s “playful spirit and sense of adventure,” adds Liat. “I think this really comes across in the exhibition and is something both relatable and uplifting. During her lifetime, Europe was in crisis, and there was so much uncertainty, but her collaborative and creative output were both prolific and sustaining. There’s much we can draw from the life of artists.”
Advance booking is recommended for Tate Lates and further information can be found here. The event will run from 6-10pm on 24 September 2021 in Tate Modern’s Turbine Hall.
Sophie Taeuber-Arp: Six Spaces with Four Small Crosses, 1932. Oil paint and graphite on canvas 65 × 100 Kunstmuseum Bern. Gift of Marguerite Arp-Hagenbach.
For Tate Lates tickets: www.shop.tate.org.uk
For Sophie Taeuber-Arp retrospective tickets: www.tate.org.uk
About the Author
Lucy (she/her) joined It’s Nice That as a staff writer in July 2016 after graduating from Chelsea College of Art. In January 2019 she was made deputy editor and in November 2021, became a senior editor predominantly working on It’s Nice That's partnerships. Feel free to get in contact with Lucy about creative projects for the site or potential partnerships.