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Performance Re-Enactment Society - Group Show (2012)

A Group Show created and curated by Performance Re-Enactment Society in response to the collection of exhibition catalogues at Arnolfini gallery, Bristol and documentation of past exhibitions held in the Arnolfini archive at Bristol Records Office. My role as research assistant led to me supporting Paul Clarke in the curation of one strand of the show.

Group Show was an intangible exhibition of visual art and performance, curated from Arnolfini's archive and displayed through performance, choreography, conversation and exhibition tours. The show brought together works from different times that were not originally shown together, as a new event. In the galleries and behind the scenes, Performance Re-enactment Society shared the research they carried out, whilst in residency at the Arnolfini as part of the project Performing Documents. Group Show was presented in three parts:


  • The first was performed by Arnolfini stewards in Galleries 1- 4. The stewards describe artworks previously shown at Arnolfini and invited gallery visitors to imagine these past exhibitions with them. This part was curated by Paul Clarke and myself, and was realised by Jess Robins, Katarina Complova, Rose Robbins, Stella Thompson and Fraisia Dunn, who all regularly invigilate shows at Arnolfini.

  • The second strand comprised a series of performance interventions by Clare Thornton and Laura Dannequin, which took place across the galleries. Clare and Laura worked with documents from Arnolfini archive as scores for choreography and movement, embodying past works, mostly sculpture, and speaking texts sourced from catalogues.

  • The third element of the Group Show took place in Dressing Room 2 - an intimate 20 minute performance by Tom Marshman and Suzie Zara. Tom and Suzie invited a small audience behind the scenes of the gallery and drew on interviews with Arnolfini staff and memories of those who have previously performed there to create a collage of narratives.

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