Southbank gallery goes global in bid to 're-shape art history'
THE TATE MODERN celebrates its 10th birthday today with a parade through surrounding Southwark streets of 300 school-children representing visitors from across the world.
The arty-party continues on the weekend when the crowning glory of the Tate Modern, its massive Turbine Hall, welcomes a "70 international art collectives from Shanghai to Rio" - part of a free festival featuring films, music and live events.
The international theme looks like being the gallery's watchword as it enters its second decade. The Tate Modern plans to "contribute towards a reshaping of art history reflecting local art histories across the world" in the words of Frances Morris, the TM's head of collections.
In that global-village vein, Morris announced yesterday that the Tate has bought 13 new works from the Middle East and north Africa, including a model city made out of cous-cous.
Once upon a time that kind of thing would be greeted with howls of derision, but nowadays you'd have to look far and wide for even a raised eyebrow.
"It's hard not to remember just how much suspicion and unease there was about contemporary art before, whereas now it's everywhere," conceptual artist Michael Craig Martin told the Telegraph.
"It has become a part of the cultural life of the country in a way that was unimaginable 20 years ago, and the Tate has played a very big part in that."
A bit of bribery doesn't do any harm in the cause of art either: after their walk, the kids will be handed slices of a giant birthday cake.