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

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

It's a good time for fans of physical performance art and Arnolfini enthusiasts, as the harbour side gallery have brushed the dust of their archives to exhibit footage and photography taken in and around its walls in the 1970s and 1980s. 

On the ground floor, photographs of Alastair MacLannen's performance piece Is No is on display. MacLannen's solo piece commenced exactly here in 1988. Lasting 54 hours, it eventually spilled outside of the gallery to become a procession through the city of Bristol. 

On the second floor, Paul Neagu's work takes over the walls. Photographs of his 1976 work captures a group of physical performance artists, combining to create one big spiral movement and reflect states of ecstasy. 

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.'

Originally published in 1969, Neagu's words are even more relevant and palpable today, as we spend more and more time distracted by electronic screens.  

Lastly, on the upper level, a video of The Rosemary Butcher Dance Company's performance is played on loop. The footage of A Passage North East projects dancers dressed in sleek yet casual attire. They lean against one another, intertwine their limbs and alter their pace from slow to fast. Beginning outside the gallery, they travel by boat across the harbour to where the M-Shed now stands. As a theatrical spectacle, they row themselves closer to the audience across the water. 

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