If you haven’t come across one of the Tate Gallery’s quirky little art films on You Tube yet, we suggest you take a look now. Unlock Art is a Tate initiative, offering a witty inside track on the world of art. With the help of a series of celebrities – including comedian, Frank Skinner, new Doctor Who actor, Peter Capaldi, Girls star, Jemima Kirke - and now Rock ‘n’ Roll band, The Kills - the aim is broaden public understanding and enjoyment of art by unlocking the stories and ideas behind it. With eight films in total, released on a monthly basis from October 2013 to May 2014, topics so far have ranged from performance art and pop art to shopping for art, nudity in art and women in art- or rather, the lack of them.
For, the sixth film in the series, launched this week on You Tube, music duo, Jamie Hince and Alison Mosshart of The Kills, ride a tandem through Tate Britain and share their thoughts on some of the great collaborators in art history. From the iconic partnership of Gilbert and George to the magical relationship between Leigh Bowery and Lucian Freud, they discover the art being made in a shared rather than solitary experience. At some times this involves an alliance between artists, artists and artisans, or artists and employees, at others it arises from the invisible bond between artist and audience.
One scene. (our favourite of course), shows Jamie appearing to change the bulb in a Giant Anglepoise Floor Lamp. This raises the question, “how many artists does it take to change a lightbulb?” Alison delivers the punchline “One … but it takes someone else to tell them when to stop screwing it in.” The message? That comedy, like art, is not always a solitary process.
… But we’re giving too much away. Take a look at the film for yourself and let us know what you think.
Unlock Art: Great Double Acts is written by Jessica Lack and Toby Amies and presented by Alison Mosshart and Jamie Hince. Director is Toby Amies, Producer, Kat Mansoor. Unlock Art is a Tate initiative, supported by Le Meridien.