Performance and Politics in the 1970s was a day of screenings, conversations and presentations which explored, recovered and communicated the history of performance art in London and the UK in the 1970s. Particular focus was given to the social and political environments in which experimental performance art emerged in the ‘70s. The event involved artists and arts organisations active at the time, as well as those making and facilitating work in the wake of these pioneers.

The day included a screening of William Raban’s film 72-82 (a history of art and performance at Acme Gallery, London), followed by a panel discussion with William Raban (Professor of Film at London College of Communication), and special guests; a conversation with Hilary Westlake and David Gale (Lumiere & Son); lectures by Naseem Khan, Anne Bean, and Marcia Farquhar; with a keynote by the historian Carolyn Steedman (Emeritus Professor of History, University of Warwick).

General and Related Material

A Short History of Performance Parts I & II (2002/2003), Whitechapel Art Gallery

Study Room Ref: P0312 + P0417

BATTISTA, Kathy (2011) ‘On Feminist Performance Art In 1970’s London’, Art Monthly, February, No. 343
Study Room Ref: A0365

BLACK Lawrence, PEMBERTON Hugh and THANE Pat eds (2013) Reassessing 70s Britain, UK: Manchester University Press

CHAMBERS, Eddie (2014) Black Artists in British Art: A History from 1950 to the Present, London: I. B. Tauris
Study Room Ref: P2758

Hayward Annual 1979, Arts Council of Great Britain. Curated by Helen Chadwick
Study Room Ref: P2848

HEDDON, Deirdre and KLEIN, Jennie (2012) Histories and Practices of Live Art, London: Palgrave Macmillan
Study Room Ref: P2083

HOWELL, Anthony (2003) ‘British Performance, an Incorrect View’ in Blast To Frieze – British Art In The 20th Century, Germany: Hatje Cantz pp 248-252
Study Room Ref: P0584

HUNT, Ian ed. (1996) What The Butler Saw: Selected Writings By Stuart Morgan, UK: Durian
Study Room Ref: P2477

FISHER, Jean (2009) The Other Story and the Past Imperfect, Tate Papers, Issue 12
Study Room Ref: A0652

GODIWALA, Dimple ed. (2006) Alternatives Within the Mainstream: British Black and Asian Theatres, UK: Cambridge Scholars Publishing
Study Room Ref: P2845

JOHNSON, Dominic ed (2013) Critical Live Art, London & New York: Routledge
Study Room Ref: P2105

KHAN, Naseem (1976) The Art Britain Ignores: The Arts of Ethnic Minorities in Britain, Arts Council of Great Britain/Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation/ Community Relations Committee [in The African-Caribbean, Asian and African Art in Britain Archive, Chelsea College of Art]

KNAUP, Bettina and STAMMER, Beatrice Ellen (2013) Re.Act.Feminism #2 – A Performing Archive, UK: Live Art Development Agency/ Germany: Verlag Fur Moderne Kunst
Study Room Ref: P2391

PARKER, Roszika and POLLOCK, Griselda (1987) Framing Feminism: Art and the Women’s Movement 1970-1985, UK: Pandora
Study Room Ref: P2841

Performance Magazine, 1979 volumes

PHILLPOT, Clive and TARSIA, Andrea ed. (2000) Live in Your Head: Concept and Experiment in Britain 1965-1975, Whitechapel Art Gallery, London
Study Room Ref: P0352

ROMS, Heike (2008) What’s Welsh for Performance? An Oral History of Performance Art in Wales (vol.1), Trace: Samizdat Press
Study Room Ref: P1028

ROMS, Heike (2013) ‘Archiving Legacies: Who Cares for Performance Remains?’ in BORGGREEN, Gunhild and GADE Rune eds. Performing Archives/Archives of Performance, Museum Tusculanum Press

SEROTA, Nicholas et al (1978) Art for Society: Contemporary British Art with a Social or Political Purpose, Whitechapel Art Gallery, London

TAWADROS, Gilane ed (2004) Changing States: Contemporary Art And Ideas In An Era Of Globalisation, London: INIVA
Study Room Ref: P0563

Performance And Politics In The 1970s, Whitechapel Gallery, 2015
[Documentation of a day of screenings, conversations and presentations, which explore, recover and communicate the history of performance art in London and the UK in the 1970s. The day includes a screening of William Raban’s film 72-82 (a history of art and performance at Acme Gallery, London) [see below], followed by a panel discussion with William Raban (Professor of Film at London College of Communication), and special guests; a conversation with Hilary Westlake and David Gale (Lumiere & Son); lectures by Naseem Khan, Anne Bean, and Marcia Farquhar; with a keynote by the historian Carolyn Steedman (Emeritus Professor of History, University of Warwick).] Study Room Ref: EF5167

72-82 by William Raban (2014, 60 mins 20 seconds)
[A key study of the history of art and performance at Acme Gallery, London] Study Room Ref: D2192

BATTISTA, Kathy (2013) Re-negotiating the Body: Feminist Art in 1970s London, London: I. B. Tauris
Study Room Ref: P2121




Artists in East London, (2008) ACME
Study Room Ref: A0660

Supporting Artists: Acme’s First Decade 1972-1982, 2013-2014, Whitechapel Gallery
View Online

The Artists Placement Group

Tate: Artist Placement Group 

BENN, Tony, and STEVINI, Barbara eds. (2012) ‘Social Engineers
Study Room Ref: A0553

SLATER, Howard (2000) ‘The art of governance: The Artists Placement Group 1966-1989’, Variant, Volume 2, Number 11, Summer, pp 23-26

The Basement Group

In Newcastle, many of the above artists performed for The Basement Group which was active 1979-83, and precedes the launch of Locus +:
Study Room Ref: A0661

GRAYSON, Richard ed. (2007) This Will Not Happen Without You, UK: University Of Sunderland Press
Study Room Ref: P0864

Chapter Arts Centre

Chapter History

Chapter Early Years 

The Midland Group

NEATE, Hannah (2012) ‘Provinciality and the Art World: The Midland Group 1961-1977’ in Social and Cultural Geography, 13 (3)

About Time: Video, Performance and Installation by 21 Women Artists, 1980, ICA, London [cat.]

Issue: Social Strategies by Women Artists, November-December 1980 (an exhibition selected by Lucy R. Lippard), ICA, London

Important Mischief, 2006, Leeds City Art Gallery [exhibition about ‘60s and ‘70s Performance Art, that included Ian Breakwell, Stuart Brisley, Helen Chadwick and Bruce Lacey] View Online

The African-Caribbean, Asian and African Art in Britain Archive, Chelsea College of Art
A unique collection of materials from 1970, with an in-depth coverage of the 1980s.
View Online

Audio Arts
Established in 1972 by William Furlong, Audio Arts comprises of sound recordings of artists and sound art. The complete collection is held at Tate.
View Online

Brixton Artists Collective
A timeline of the Collective including exhibitions at the Brixton Art Gallery.
View Online

European Live Art Archive (ELAA)
Based at Girona University, the aim of ELAA is to share knowledge, experience and documentation of live art throughout the EU, including filmed interviews with artists.
View Online

European Women’s Video Art
A resource recovering seminal contribution of women artists’ early video art. European wide, the project is based at Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art and Design, University of Dundee.
View Online

LIMA is an international platform for sustainable access to media art.
View Online

Locus +
Based in Newcastle upon Tyne, Locus + is a visual arts commissioning agency. They have a long and important relationship with Performance Art and Artists, and house the Alastair MacLennan archive, as well as the Locus + archive.
View Online

National Review of Live Art (NELA) Archive
Primarily a video archive that documents performances from the prestigious NRLA festival, covering the period from 1986 to its final year 2010.
View Online

re.act.feminism #2 – A performing archive
A continually expanding, temporary and living performance archive travelling through six European countries from 2011 to 2013.
View Online

A key site to see/hear artworks from artists across disciplines.
View Online

Unfinished Histories
Recording extensive material, including interviews, of practitioners active in British alternative theatre, 1968 – 1988, including performance art.
View Online

What’s Welsh for Performance?
A research project devoted to uncovering and archiving the history of Performance Art in Wales.
View Online

Women’s Art Movement in Great Britain – Early Years Collection
In The Women’s Art Library (MAKE) Archive held as part of Goldsmiths Library Special Collections.
View Online