Global Cities at Tate Modern

20 June-27 August 2007
Turbine Hall, Tate Modern, London

Global Cities, a major free exhibition examining recent changes in ten global cities - Cairo, Istanbul, Johannesburg, London, Los Angeles, Mexico City, Mumbai, Sao Paulo, Shanghai, and Tokyo - will be presented in a spectacular installation in the Turbine Hall at Tate Modern from 20 June-27 August 2007. Organised by Tate in association with the la Biennale di Venezia, the exhibition is sponsored by Land Securities in association with Savills and Derwent London.

The show will feature newly commissioned work by leading international artists and architects
Nigel Coates, Zaha Hadid & Patrik Schumacher, Fritz Haeg, OMA*AMO/Rem Koolhaas, Nils Norman and Richard Wentworth inspired by the social, cultural and physical dimensions of London. To complement the other city data are more than twenty works by artists and architects Atelier Bow Wow, Hüseyin Alptekin, Francis Alys, Laurence Bonvin, Osman Bozkurt, Hala Elkoussy, Kendell Geers, Dryden Goodwin, Andreas Gursky, Naoya Hatakeyama, Francesco Jodice, Eva Koch, Maha Maamoun, Neutral, Nils Norman, Scott Peterman, Melanie Smith, Dean Sameshima, Guy Tillim, Paromita Vohra and Yang Zhenzhong.

Global Cities has been developed from the show that was the centrepiece of the 10th International Venice Architecture Biennale where it attracted over 130,000 visitors, making it the most popular Architecture Biennale to date. The exhibition at Tate Modern will use London as a concrete point of reference and comparison with the other nine cities. The exhibition’s Turbine Hall installation has been specially designed by Pentagram.

The exhibition addresses major issues facing some of the most influential urban centres around the world: from migration to mobility, from social integration to sustainable growth. It explores five themes: size, speed, density, form and diversity and draws upon comparative socio-economic and geographic data assembled by researchers at the London School of Economics.

To complement these data, the exhibition at Tate incorporates a wide range of existing visual art works in the media of video and photography that present subjective interpretations of urban conditions in each of the ten cities. The artists’ and architects’ commissions, which are being produced especially for the exhibition in the Turbine Hall, will respond to the local context of London and in some cases of Southwark.

With over half the world’s population now living in urban areas, cities increasingly lie at the centre of public debate, cultural speculation and media attention. A century ago only 10% of the planet lived in cities; by 2050 up to 75% of the world’s population of 8 billion will be living in urban areas, many of them concentrated in the developing regions of Asia and Africa. The shape, size and structure of exploding mega-cities like Mumbai, Shanghai, Mexico City, Istanbul or Cairo affects

Not only the lives of millions of new urban dwellers, but also the health and sustainability of the planet given that large cities contribute to over 75% of the world’s CO2 emissions. Cities are stronger today as centres of economic, social and cultural exchange than they ever have been, acting as crucibles of creativity, economic growth and social encounter.

The exhibition will act as a platform for debate, both informally and through series of public programmes. ‘Debate London,’ the Architecture Foundation’s series of four discussions about the current state of the UK’s cosmopolitan capital will take place the weekend 22-25 June and a programme of film screenings will take place on Sunday evenings over the course of the summer.