chapter  8
A Performatic Archive
ByKERRIE READING
Pages 6

This short chapter addresses a practice-as-research experiment that was generated by undertaking research in the archive of Chapter Arts Centre, Cardiff, UK. Based in a former school, Chapter was founded in 1971 by artists Christine Kinsey and Brian Jones and journalist Mik Flood, to provide ample space to host artists and present an array of work, from film, visual art to theatre. During the 1970s it both produced and presented performance work, which was a model adapted by Flood after visiting the Mickery Theatre in Amsterdam and seeing the relationship that the venue built with its visiting companies. Flood was particularly interested in how the theatre groups and the venue worked in collaboration, and he was keen to establish the same methods at Chapter. It was his objective to ensure venues were active partners in the process of making the work, not merely ticket sellers. He stated at the time that the ‘commitment must be made beyond the show’ and that he wanted to ‘see a move away from product towards an emphasis on process’ (Flood 1977) The residency scheme model that Flood adopted was to bring companies in for a 2-4 week process where they made the work within the building and then presented it. This not only gave a base for the company to present but allowed Chapter to become involved as producers. My research focus has been on the first decade of the venue’s operation, as this period was crucial in establishing its reputation as a leading arts venue in Europe.