project image
Palvinder Nangla

first performed on September 22, 2011
Tate Modern, London, UK
performed once in 2011


Johanne Timm and Palvinder Nangla

London, UK,


“Assault at the Tate” is part of a series of actions under the title of “Art-Riot.” The name “Art-Riot” is intended as a re-appropriation of private and public spaces. In order to make an artwork into a message for the audience, artists need to display their work, in small and big institutions, they need to be seen or heard. Unfortunately many artists have to face failure because of application procedures and long waiting lists.

“Art-Riot” is a series of works aimed to bring the fresh product of an artist with its full power from the studio (or the mind of the artist) to the streets, gallery spaces, museums, or any other kind of public space. “Art-Riot” is a soft-core terrorism! But instead of killing, it brings genuine and true art into the streets, galleries or big institutions such as Tate Modern. The word “Terrorism” is used because this kind of action implies the same process of a terrorist action before the “moment.”

The artist in this case will make fake documents, research about organizers of different institutions and fake a collaboration organized via e-mail. “Assault at the Tate” has been performed at Tate Modern Museum. Riccardo Attanasio painted live a 350 x 190cm painting, Johanne Timm improvised a dance piece around it, and Palvinder Nangla (fashion designer) made the video documentation.

The Tate organizers were quite confused because they did not know anything about the performance. Riccardo Attanasio brought a letter explaining that he had to perform at Tate Modern on September 22, 2011. The letter stated that the performance was agreed to by the Events Curator of the Tate Modern. The printed e-mail was given to one of the directors of the Tate Modern who was very confused but allowed the performance to continue until he eventually found out.

Attanasio managed to complete and almost sell his painting dedicated to the renewal construction work of the Tate Modern.