Tate Liverpool announces Pay what you Can weekend in spirit of Art Turning Left show

By Vivien Cohen | 14 January 2014

Tate Liverpool will offer a weekend of pay-what-you-can entry, invoking the spirit of its current major exhibition

A photo of a young woman in a blue and yellow floral dress looking at art inside a gallery
© Tate Liverpool
From the French Revolution to the present day, Tate Liverpool’s radical Art Turning Left exhibition is the first of its kind to examine how the production and reception of art has been influenced by left-wing values.

It seems fitting, then, that the gallery is to host a pay-what-you-can experiment this weekend (January 18-19), when visitors will be asked to pay as little or as much as they like – the suggested maximum is £20, although free admission is an option for the less flush – in order to enjoy the exhibition and a number of special events being held.

The initiative takes as a springboard the various themes that are explored and celebrated within the exhibition itself, such as collectivism, equality and the influence of left-wing politics on the artistic process.

Art Turning Left hosts pieces that, while wildly different in form and style, share the same ethos regarding the revolutionary influence that the public can have on both the production of art and the final result.

The Death of Marat, produced by Jacques-Louis David in 1793-4, was intended by the artist to be a piece that could be reproduced and redistributed throughout France in order to spread the message of the French Revolution.

In this way the work itself provides a very early insight into the ethos of “art for the masses” as opposed to museum pieces that could be enjoyed only by an elite few.

Despite a production gap of more than 200 years, Ruth Ewan’s A Jukebox of People Trying to Change the World, which has been running since 2003, similarly democratises art for a different age. Her jukebox of protest songs is partly compiled by public suggestion and is open for visitors to use— paralleling the early inclusivity of David’s work.

Art Turning Left runs until February 2 2014. Open 10am-5pm. Standard admission £6-£8.80.

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