Report: No Soul For Sale at Tate Modern

15May10

No animals. No nudity. No feeding the customers. Apart from that almost anything goes at No Soul For Sale. 50 non-profit art organisations from around the world have been invited to set up a stall in the Turbine Hall at Tate Modern. By the time dusk falls, the scene is a wonderfully confused mess.

a photograph of an exhibtion

They have come from as far as Vietnam and Columbia and from as near as Liverpool and Leeds. T-shirts and bags are hawked. Bookmarks and stickers are given away. Serious-minded literature is scattered to the four winds. And then there is the art, lots of it.

a photograph of people in a  gallery

On the ground floor bridge the lights are night-club low and drinks are being served. Crowds mill around a bouncy castle and a luxury car. The chatter is loud and multilingual. The statement haircuts and fashion choices are coming into their own.

A photograph of a band on  stage

Music booms up from the stage at the foot of the entrance ramp. Turner Prize-winning artist Martin Creed plays a set of conceptual punk-rock numbers, then anti-folkster Jeffrey Lewis steps up to sing five songs about the history of Western Civilisation.

Upstairs you can wander through the other floors and view the permanent collection. But tonight the art is competing with the music, which is competing with the bar, which competes with just taking in the nocturnal views. It all certainly beats a normal Friday night out.

Written as part of Museums at Night coverage for Culture24.

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