Their Constructive Materials/Layers built over two events to create a live convergence of the two performances. A spoken narrative considers the political and artistic concerns predicating each of Birmingham’s four successive central libraries, and their physical manifestations within the city’s shifting civic centre, from 1865 to the present day.
Voiced by Sarah Hamilton Baker and Jack Trow.
A performance tackling the question of ownership in public bodies – collective, common and corporate entities – combining spoken word, spontaneous movement and hand-held provocations for audience participation.Show video
An account of research into four seemingly unconnected areas: Paleolithic art from Creswell Crags in North Nottinghamshire, one man’s recollections of Nottingham’s music scene in the 1970s and 80s, the socialist roots of the Clarion Cycling Club and the raves, graphics and music produced by the Spiral Tribe collective in the early 1990s. The narrative makes speculative links about work, leisure and escapism, mark-making and landscape, and how everyday culture is archived and historicised.Show video
WWE/2/1/12/25 (Sex), and WWE/2/1/12/25 (Exploitation, Western) are carefully-rendered copies of photocopies of one of Raymond Williams’ personal notebooks, held in the Swansea Unversity Archives (named after the actor Richard Burton). The semi-legible notes are the genesis of Williams’ entries in his book Keywords, on which Ruth based her performance Performing Keywords.
Ruth Beale’s live work Performing Keywords enacts cultural theorist Raymond Williams’ seminal book Keywords: A Vocabulary of Culture and Society. Devised and performed with members of Turner Contemporary’s Studio Group, Beale’s performance reimagines the list of Keywords as a personal collection of interconnected terms. The script, compiled from William’s own writing including unpublished personal papers, lays out Williams’ attempt to track and pin down shifting meanings of words whose changes reflect the political bent and values of society.Show video
Now from Now is a narrative sound piece documenting a journey through a fictional out-of-time London where all libraries are closed but in tact. A methodical exploration of the boarded-up relics is disrupted by acid trip-outs and sublime moments. The monologue is accompanied by oil visuals.Show video
Ruth Beale’s live piece Lindgren & Langlois: The Archive Paradox is a dramatised exchange of letters between two influential film archivists with opposing views on film preservation and circulation: Ernest Lindgren, the BFI National Film Archive’s first curator and Henri Langlois, co-founder of the Cinémathèque Française. The piece is constructed from their own correspondences, held in their respective archives.Show video