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Molassesed Marauders

Fiona Banner, Every Word Unmade A-L (Neon Alphabet), 2007, studio shot.
Fiona Banner, Every Word Unmade A-L (Neon Alphabet), 2007, studio shot.

All week I’ve been thinking about the protests a few days ago at the Tate Britain. See, everyone’s favorite oil gushing giant, BP, gives loads of money to the arts every year and some Londoners used a fancy party to protest the company.

Here, according to the Guardian newspaper, is what went down: Eight protesters, heads covered, walked toward the museum carrying black buckets carrying the BP logo. They then dumped the contents, molasses, onto the steps. The original sticky substance throwers were joined by other protesters, who feathered the molasses with plumage from their pockets.

What’s so interesting about this, to me, is not that protesters are upset with BP, whose every actions are being scrutinized right now, but with how disjointed protest movements around the globe seem to be.

Environmentalists protest the oil giant’s support of the arts rather than spending every dollar (or pound in this case) they have cleaning up the catastrophic disaster in the Gulf of Mexico, which due to the Gulf Stream will reach the coast of England in the fall. Inside, the party marked the opening of a show by British artist Fiona Banner, whose work examines the war machine (both literally, by exhibiting decommissioned fighter planes, and figuratively, through transcriptions of war films). Banner’s art is itself a protest, though one very different in execution and audience, than the one that disrupted her opening.

 
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