Tate Modern: Switch House Opening, London

The new Tate Modern extension opens to the public on 17 June with its added Switch House building, increasing the size of the gallery by 60%. The eccentric pyramid building is designed by architects Herzog & de Meuron, who also worked on the original conversion of the Bankside Power Station in 2000. This new part of the gallery opens up many exciting experiences for visitors and emphasises the transformation of Tate’s modern and contemporary art collections in recent years.

The completely re-hung displays feature 800 works by over 300 artists from over 50 countries from Chile to India, Russia and Sudan to Thailand. A focused international acquisition programme has ensured that engaging art from all over the world is showcased, promoting a greater and more diverse selection of works including notable additions in photography, film and performance.  Furthermore, half of the solo displays are now dedicated to women artists.

Features of Switch House include the pre-existing Tanks – the first permanent museum space dedicated to live art – and innovative spaces for Learning, as well as a panoramic public viewing terrace on Level 10, which offers visitors a completely new perspective on London. A new ‘open experiment’ called Tate Exchange will also be launched later this year, occupying an entire floor of Switch House with over 50 organisations aiming to use art to address wider issues in the world around us.

The opening will be celebrated by a series of free live performances, new commissions and a host of other special events. Three weeks of live art will animate the displays as part of the BMW Tate Live partnership including Tino Seghal’s gallery attendants bursting into song and Tania Bruguera’s police on horseback. In addition, a special weekend supported by Uniqlo will see Tate Modern open until 22:00 from 17-19 June.

The centrepiece of the opening event will be a specially-commissioned choral work by artist Peter Liversidge, performed at 17:00 on Saturday 18 June by over 500 singers from community choirs across London. Free screenings of film and video works from Tate’s collection will be screened in the newly refurbished Starr Cinema onsite. Scheduled events also include Ten Minute Art Talks led by staff and volunteers across Tate, providing visitors with personal responses to favourite artworks.

Tate Modern, Switch House Opening Weekend, 17-19 June. Bankside, London, SE1 9TG.

For more information, visit: www.tate.org.uk.

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1. Switch House extension at Tate Modern.