Time for Tea Performance- River Thames- 7pm- May 15, 2010
On May 15 at 7pm on the banks of the River Thames directly outside of the Tate Modern, Kathleen Bitetti, a U.S. artist based in Boston, Massachusetts, along with the founder of the London Biennale, David Medalla, and a small group of artists and spectators threw tea that Bitetti brought from Boston into the River Thames. Bitetti also threw water from the Boston Harbor into the River Thames. The brand of tea used was the same brand that was thrown into the sea for the 1773 Boston Tea Party. This choice not only referenced that important historical event, but to also referenced the current “U.S. Tea Party” movement. One can not help to think that Bitetti wanted people to compare and assess the two movements on their merits. It was an "ironic and paradoxical event of pouring water from Boston harbour and tossing tea into the waters of the river Thames"-David Medalla. The history of tea is also worthy of further investigation as it is woven with wars, uprisings and corporate espionage.*
Some of the participants and spectators: Norberto Roldan and the artists of Green Papaya, Anne Bean, Raul Pina, Tina Keane, Diane Torr, Geraldine Gallavardin and Benjamin Jouve, Anil Bawa, Nissa Nishikaw, and friendly strangers from different parts of the world.
This performance was part of The London Biennale which was founded in 1998 by David Medalla and occured during the "No Soul for Sale- A Festival of Independents at the Tate Modern" . The London Biennale has evolved into an artist community loosely based around London and the biennale events that take place there. The Biennale organization is not restricted to London. For more information: www.londonbiennale.org
For more information on Kathleen visit: www.KathleenBitetti.com
* For the record Bitetti is an avid tea drinker and not a coffee drinker like so many Americans are. She recommends the book on Tea: For all the Tea in China- How England Stole the World’s Favorite Drink and Changed History” by Sarah Rose