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25 February 2006

Jonathan Meese's Rachel Whiteread Tate intervention intervened in....
It must be the Stuckists....

"I saw the appeal on ur website4more info about the incident in tate modern. I took this photo during the performance, think this may be the object that was thrown. Hope this is helpful. From Jo Peace."
From AOI (Association of Illustrators) message board:
Topic: Rachel Whiteread's white boxes at Tate Modern
Clare Tovey: It was tempting to re-arrange the white cubes, and touch them, but that is not allowed needless to say.
Damien Roach: I was at the Tate Modern on Saturday night [25.2.06] seeing the Rachel Whiteread show and a performance by Jonathan Meese, and someone in the crowd threw something down onto the work from above, it made a pretty loud crash, I was wondering if it was you??? Or if not, do you or anyone else know anything about it? I'd be really interested to find out who did it. I was wondering what the object was and what's become of it now, whether the work was damaged and what it was all about. Has anyone heard anything about this?

Lyn: I think its a bit odd to suggest that Clare would throw something at an art installation...are you for real?

Nicole Morris: I heard about the incident and I'm pretty sure it was the stuckists, you know the anti-conceptual activist group. Not sure if it was directed specifically at Rachel Whiteread's work though, it could have been more about the Tate as an institute.
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Nicole might be pretty sure it was the Stuckists, but the Stuckists aren't pretty sure it was the Stuckists. Anyone who is absolutely sure who it was might like to let us know and tell Damien Roach who is very keen to find out. Email: roachdamien@yahoo.co.uk
Please note: we have been contacted by the London artist Damien Roach, who wishes to make it clear that he is not the Damien Roach named above. We have also been contacted by the the Damien Roach named above to make it clear that he is not the London artist Damien Roach.
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Following our request, Michelle Dovey emailed to say:
"The Jonathan Meese performance at the Tate Modern on Saturday had members of the audience unbelievably furious. Whilst the performance was rousing, such extreme hostility in the viewers seemed a little implausible at times and the convenient way in which it complemented the artwork leads my friends and I to question its authenticity. Upon reading on the Stuckist website of Tate Chief Curator, Judith Nesbitt's fondness of interventions and encounters I wonder whether the seemingly disruptive throwing of an object during the performance may have been endorsed by the Tate in a push for publicity through scandal, surely in accordance with the gallery's decision to stage such an artwork in the first place."
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Damien Roach (not the London artist) emailed (2.3.06) to say:
" I have contacted those at Tate Modern, who, in their efficacy, have advised that I will hear back from them over the course of the following two weeks. This is one can of worms that I intend to get to the bottom of..."
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Damien Roach (not the London artist) emailed (20.3.06) to say:
I thought it might interest you to hear the official line the Tate are (finally) taking re the events of 25/03. Although they weren't aware of anything "unusual or out of the ordinary" having occurred during Meese's performance, "works get interfered with all the time and people often are unsure of the boundaries or social etiquette of Art and react accordingly, sometimes going beyond the pale".

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Stuckism handy guide to the art world....
An act by an individual which interferes with an existing artwork is termed an "intervention" and the individual termed an "artist" if they are endorsed by a Tate curator or are dead. The same, or similar, act by an individual interfering with the same artwork (or even interfering with the interference to the artwork), if they are alive and are not endorsed by a Tate curator, is termed "vandalism", and the individual termed a "criminal".
See The Battle of Trafalgar, 4 Jun 2001 and String up the perpetrator .
Judith Nesbitt, Tate Chief Curator, (see Tate Triennial below) likes intervention and promotes art that "invites a direct encounter", so this is likely to result in unwanted eventualities...