Edge of an Era: Archive, announcement of commissioned artists

We are delighted to announce the selected artists for Edge of an Era: Archive following an open call for which we received over 70 applications. The artists have been commissioned to respond to artists and work from a series of seminal performance events which took place in the 1980s, including EDGE 88.

The selected artists are:

Robin Bale, who will present a sound piece that explores the idea of collective memory and the phantasms it generates. This is inspired by an art critic's misinterpreting/mis­remembering of Bled Edge (EDGE 88) by Alastair MacLennan. This will be combined with an exploration of the site of the original performance, the House of Detention in Clerkenwell, as well as reflections from Bale’s own history.

Mayfly (Zvikomborero Mutyambizi), who is looking at Mona Hatoum’s Reflections on Value (EDGE 88) and Hidden from Prying Eyes (At the Edge, 1987), combining site-specific research, song walks, diaspora positionalities and “black womens geographies” to create a new sound composition.

Something Other (Maddy Costa, Diana Damian Martin and Mary Paterson), who will explore the notion of correspondence with feminist practices from the late 80s. Using text and audio they will also respond to the fraught political moments of 1988 and 2018.

Adam Patterson, who will make a performative video work in search of Isaac Julien’s Looking for Langston (EDGE 89). “Looking for ‘Looking for Langston’” is a sail and cruise transgressing horizons, searching and hunting for alternative forms of pleasure through digital archival consumption.

Morgan Quaintance, who is making a moving image work pitched between documentary and abstraction, comprising of newly shot footage and archival materials relating to the Bow Gamelan Ensemble’s work emanating from At the Edge (1987).

The commissions will be featured on a new website created especially for Edge of an Era as well as at a public event which will be held in February 2019 (date TBC).

Please sign up to our mailing list to receive info about the website and event.

More information about the Open Call


About Edge of an Era

In the late 1980s, Performance Magazine (1979-1992) started presenting some of the first site specific performance art events in the UK, including Art in Danger, At the Edge and Last Sweat of Youth at the Diorama and Air Gallery. This culminated in EDGE 88, one of London’s first site-specific performance/installation festivals, which was attended by artists such as Helena Goldwater, who was at the start of her career. Thirty years later, Helena Goldwater and Rob La Frenais (former editor of Performance Magazine and Director of EDGE 88), in collaboration with LADA, are revisiting this and other 1980s performance art events, connecting influential artists from the 1980s with current generations.

The project will shed light on underrepresented histories which have had a significant influence on current art practice and will respond to the current embrace of performance art in the mainstream.

More information about Edge of an Era

Credits and Supporters

This project is curated by Helena Goldwater, Rob La Frenais, Alex Eisenberg and Live Art Development Agency.

In partnership with ArtsAdmin and Central Saint Martins, University of London.

This project is supported using public funding by Arts Council National Lottery Project Grants and made possible through the Jonathan Ruffer Curatorial Grant from Art Fund.

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