Art Not Oil targets petroleum-industry sponsorship of the arts

Via the Center for Sustainable Practice in the Arts comes word of a group founded in 2004 to examine the environmental hazards of oil dependency and push for British cultural institutions to drop sponsorships from oil companies. Among Art Not Oil's campaigns: pressuring the Tate to cut ties with BP.

Sounds like that won't happen anytime soon, though. The group cites a quote from a Guardian interview with Tate director Nick Serota, who says:
'The first thing to say is we have support from BP, which as a company is looking at renewable energy as well as using up fossil fuels and using oil. We have long had support from them and are not intending to abandon it. But we are committed to addressing issues posed by climate change. Tate has made some big strides in terms of carbon reduction and bringing that to the attention of other people in the world.'
From Art Not Oil's About page:
Since 2004, Art Not Oil has aimed to encourage artists - and would-be artists - to create work that explores the damage that companies like BP and Shell are doing to the planet, and the role art can play in counteracting that damage.

It is designed in part to paint a truer portrait of an oil company than the caring image manufactured by events such as the BP Portrait Award, Shell's sponsorship of classic drama at the National Theatre, and other 'cultural activities' of the oil multinationals which also happen to divert public attention away from their actual activities. Climate chaos is set to have a catastrophic effect on all of us, while hitting the poorest hardest. The companies most responsible are profiting handsomely, yet they're still welcome it seems in many of our most prestigious public galleries and museums.


c.a.s. said...

LACMA is also catching some (mostly tongue-in-cheek) heat, seeing as how their newly renovated grand entrance was paid and named for the offending oil giant: http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/culturemonster/2010/05/lacma-bp-grand-entrance.html

Mark Gisleson said...

Wow. That's an incredibly powerful graphic.