Edge of an Era

“As well as gallery venues such as AIR and the Flaxman Gallery, artists have chosen swimming pools, churches and disused offices for their ‘laboratory‘ pieces. The installations, using videos, lasers, live performance, props and written material, are works on the edge of fine art practice: on the edge too, of politics and emotions.”

Original review of EDGE 88 by Deanna Petherbridge, Financial Times, 1988


In the mid 1980s, the iconic Performance Magazine (1979-1992) started presenting performance art events in the UK, including Art in Danger, At the Edge and Last Sweat of Youth at the Diorama and AIR Gallery. This culminated in EDGE 88, one of London’s first site-specific performance/installation festivals in 1988.

To celebrate the 30th anniversary of EDGE 88 the Live Art Development Agency (LADA), with artist Helena Goldwater and Rob La Frenais (former editor of Performance Magazine and Director of EDGE 88) are revisiting this and other 1980s performance art events in Edge of an Era, a series of activities connecting influential artists from the 1980s with current generations.

Edge of an Era sheds light on underrepresented performance art histories in the UK and London at a extremely dynamic time – the 1980s. A time, which in hindsight, was the beginning of significant social and cultural change and the end of an era.

This phase of the project has seen five artistic commissions which respond to the archival digitisation of the work from these events, workshops that took place in London and Northumberland and the development of a bespoke website offering the archive as a resource. These activities culminate in the public event which will take place on 4 February 2019 in St James’s Church, London the original location of Denis Masi’s work Screen (from EDGE 88).

During the event, Rob La Frenais will lead a Walking Tour (sold out) tracing the streets and sites of EDGE 88, and Something Other invite you to join them for a Walking Salon, reading proposals and imagining artworks made by female artists in the EDGE archive. The tours depart at 5.30 and will last an hour.

From 7pm, we will present commissioned sound and video works by Zvikomborero (Mayfly) Mutyambizi, Adam Patterson, and Morgan Quaintance. Robin Bale, Something Other and Adam will present short performances at the event and further commissioned sound works by Robin and Something Other will be presented online following the event.

Edge of an Era will also feature introductions by Rob La Frenais, Helena Goldwater and Alex Eisenberg, and a panel discussion with original artists and curators from EDGE 88 including Alastair MacLennan and Sara Selwood.

The event is free, but booking is essential and can be done here.

Categories: Featured Activity

Date Posted: 24 January 2019