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In the Air – Art+Auction's Gossip Column

Performance Art Satirists Prank Tate Modern and the Saatchi Gallery

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The last time Tate Modern was targeted by a group attempting to infiltrate its galleries with clandestine art, it was a group of anti-BP protesters hauling a giant wind turbine, piece by piece, into Turbine Hall. The latest such art prank, perpetrated at Tate and the Saatchi Gallery by pranksters Doug and Mikael, has the pair placing ping pong balls in their mouths and pretending to be Marina Abramovic-esque performers in the midst of some torturous, endurance-based piece.

In the video below, the pair’s performances — which involve them standing, sitting, or lying down in the galleries, either solo or together — draw huge crowds of camera-toting onlookers, who seem unsure whether what they are documenting is indeed a joke, or an actual artwork, which of course is the performance’s point.

Watch the entire series of performances below, which end abruptly, though not surprisingly, with an off-screen security guard asking, “Can you stop filming please?”

— Benjamin Sutton

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