Past is Prologue: Creating Art form a Living Archive 2

Past is Prologue: Creating Art form a Living Archive    2



On Wednesday 18th September, ICCE and the Library at Goldsmiths hosted a one day symposium exploring new directions in the ways artists are working with archives towards the creation of new work across diverse media. The event, co-organized with engage and the London International Festival of Theatre, both of whom house their own archives at Goldsmiths, was chaired by Ruth Mackenzie and Caoimhe McAvinchey. Over presentations from Siobhan Davies, Tim Etchells, Richard Wentworth, Nayia Yiakoumaki, Barby Asante and Sue Mayo, as well as breakouts from Eileen Hogan, X Marks the Spot and Rachael Castell of Digital Theatre, delegates from a range of institutions and creative practices delved into myriad observations, cases, questions and theories of this ‘archival impulse’ and its significance to the present moment in art and creative culture.

Mollie  Cashwell  – conference administrator

Past is Prologue : Creating Art form a Living Archive’ on 18 September at Goldsmiths, University of London was a really inspiring event. Artists, curators and academics described working with archives through film, dance, music and the visual arts. Many of the projects involved artists and people working with archives, such as Barby Asante’s work exploring black music particularly with older people in London, and Eileen Hogan’s work with young people and the Baring Archive. The audience included archivists, artists, curators and education colleagues working in galleries and museums. Judging by their questions, the event gave them the opportunity to gather all sorts of ideas for fresh ways of working with archives and historical collections. The seminar also included interesting tours of some of the collections at Goldsmiths Library including the London International Festival of Theatre’s Living Archive and the engage Resource.

At engage, we are delighted that material about gallery education practice in the UK and internationally from the 1970’s onwards will soon be accessible at Goldsmiths Library.

Jane Sillis  Director      engage

The Past is Prologue was a really invigorating day profiling really exciting ways that artists have worked with archives. Though there were many artists presenting about their exciting work with archives it was also particularly interesting to hear the perspective of the archive curator from Whitechapel Gallery about their work.

Erica Campagne Participation Producer at  London International Festival of Theatre


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