Arnolfini Exhibition: Physical Performance Art from the 70s and 80s

Arnolfini Exhibition: Physical Performance Art from the 70s and 80s

Fans of physical performance art? The Arnolfini have got out their archives, exhibiting a series of photographs and a video of performances from 1970s and 1980s

On the ground floor of the Arnolfini you will find a photograph from Alastair MacLannen's performance piece Is No. The ground floor gallery space is where his  solo piece commenced in 1988. 54 hours long, it eventually spilled outside of the gallery and became a procession through the city of Bristol.

On the second floor the work of Paul Neagu is exhibited. A series of photographs of his  1976 piece captures a group of physical performance artists generating spiraling movement to reflect ecstatic states. Neagu published in his 'Palpable Art Manifesto

'The eye is fatigued, perverted, shallow, its culture is degenerate, degraded and obsolete, seduced by photography, film, television… You can take things in better, more completely, with your ten fingers, pores and mucous membranes than with only two eyes'. 

Published in 1969, perhaps even more 'palpable' today. 

Lastly, on the upper level in Gallery 5, a video of the Rosemary Butcher Dance Company's performance is played on loop. The video archive of A Passage North East projects dancers dressed in white, sleek and simultaneously casual attire, altering the pace of their movement from slow to fast. The dancers lean against one another and intertwine their bodies. Beginning outside the gallery, they travel by boat across the harbor to where the M-Shed is now. Rowing their spectacle closer to where the audience then was. 

The archives will be displayed from now until Sunday April 9th, 11:00-18:00. 


Elena Angelides, Theatre Editor