This is a Study Room Guide which looks at 1970s UK Performance Art.

Compiled and edited by Helena Goldwater and produced by the Live Art Development Agency (LADA), this Guide includes framing texts by Helena Goldwater and Dominic Johnson, as well as artists’ information and images, including links to online content and hard copy materials available in LADA’s Study Room, a free, open access research facility specialising in Live Art and Performance.

Glimpses of Before forms part of a larger series of research activities on Performance and Politics in the 1970s organised by Dr. Dominic Johnson and Professor Nicholas Ridout of the the Department of Drama at Queen Mary, University of London. This 2015/16 project includes a symposium on Performance and Politics at the Whitechapel Gallery, and two artist residencies by Anne Bean in the Foyle Reading Room at Whitechapel Gallery (London), and Marcia Farquhar in the Archive at ACME Studios (London).

Download a hard copy of Glimpses of Before [PDF].

An image bank including additional image materials is accessible by visiting the LADA Study Room.


If you have information or materials which relate to Performance Art in the UK in the 1970s please do get in touch with us as we may be interested in adding these to this guide. Contact LADA.

About LADA Study Room Guides

As part of the continuous development of the Study Room, LADA regularly commissions a range of artists and thinkers to write Study Room Guides to help navigate users through the resource. Study Room Guides enable users to experience materials in new ways and highlight materials that they may not have otherwise come across.

With selected Study Room Guides, such as Glimpses of Before and Are We There Yet?, the material is presented online. Other Guides are available as downloadable PDFs or can be accessed in hard copy in the Study Room.

Visit LADA’s Study Room.

About Live Art Development Agency (LADA)

LADA is a ‘Centre for Live Art’: a knowledge centre, a production centre for programmes and publications, a research centre setting artists and ideas in motion, and an online centre for digital experimentation, representation and dissemination.

LADA works strategically, in partnership and in consultation with artists and organisations across the cultural sector to develop new artistic frameworks, legitimize unclassifiable artforms, and give agency to underrepresented artists.

For more information see the Live Art Development Agency.


Some of the books and materials referenced in this guide can be purchased on Unbound – the world’s only dedicated online shop for Live Art books, DVDs and limited editions


Written and Edited by

Helena Goldwater

Digital Production and Website by

Alex Eisenberg (LADA)

Project Assistant

Victoria Matthews (LADA)

With thanks to

Dominic Johnson, Nicholas Ridout, Arantxa Echarte at Acme Gallery, and all the artists featured in the Guide for their generous provision of images. Hannah O’Shea, Silvia Ziranek and Lynn MacRitchie – who shared some wonderful stories and archival materials with Helena Goldwater, Jonty Tarbuck and Jon Bewley at Locus +, Ellie Roberts and Gustavo Grandal Montero at the Chelsea Library, Chelsea School of Art, UAL.

Published in 2016 by Live Art Development Agency (LADA)

This project is part of a wider series of activities on Performance and Politics in the 1970s. These were produced in a collaboration between the Live Art Development Agency (LADA), the Department of Drama at Queen Mary University of London and Matt’s Gallery, funded by Queen Mary, University of London.