back next

Workshops & Events

Speculative Archives
Thursday 19 March, 7pm

Speculative Archives is a panel discussion which marks the launch of Chisenhale Gallery’s online archive, 1986-1990, chaired by Royal College of Art Curating Contemporary Art student Sophie Oxenbridge who has been working on the digitisation of the archive.

The event seeks to create discourse around archiving as an extended research project in the digital age. This is not to focus solely on how archives are being digitised, but also on how they are being re-conceived in an online age; a way of thinking about archives as both a means through which to re-tell histories but also to speculate on or produce them anew, linking them with the contemporary imagination.

Speakers include Siobhan Davies, presenting RePlay, an evolving dance and choreographic digital archive including film footage, images, audio and text; Laura McLean talking about her work as curator of the Contingent Movements Archive, a curatorial and artistic research project which was initiated for the Maldives Pavilion of the 55th Venice Biennale; and writer Naomi Pearce introducing the collaborative research project and book After Butler’s Wharf: Essays on a Working Building.

The Chisenhale Gallery archive 1986-1990 is an incomplete and evolving project. Where possible, we have tried to obtain the dates, artists involved, installation images, and a description of the exhibition. However, some of these exhibitions have limited or no documentation available at this stage. If you are able to contribute to this archive please contact:

This event is programmed alongside Patrick Staff's exhibition, click here for more information.

Free to attend but booking is strongly advised. Please book your place here.

Speaker biographies

Siobhan Davies (CBE) is a renowned British choreographer, with over 60 critical acclaimed works, twice-winner an Olivier Award, and others including Digital Dance Awards and South Bank Show Award. Founder of Siobhan Davies Dance in 1988, and the RIBA award-winning Siobhan Davies Studios, London in  2006  Davies works alongside independent dance artists to create new work and applies choreography across a wide range of creative disciplines including visual arts and film. Her recent works have been presented at institutions in the UK and Europe, including Lenbachhaus, Munich; Arnolfini, Bristol; the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford; Turner Contemporary, Margate; Tramway, Glasgow; the ICA, The Roundhouse and Whitechapel Gallery, all London.

Laura McLean is a London based curator, artist, and writer. As Assistant Curator of the Maldives Pavilion she established the Contingent Movements Archive with Hanna Husberg and Kaliopi Tsipini-Kolaza. She also completed the short film The Free Sea with Husberg, which has featured in exhibitions and screenings in Helsinki, Paris, and London, and is currently touring with the exhibition Waterscapes: The Politics of Water in South Korea. Previous curatorial projects include Crisis Complex at Tin Sheds Gallery, University of Sydney, and Survey at Eveleigh Yards, Sydney. McLean has studied at Sydney College of the Arts, Universität der Künste, Berlin and Goldsmiths College, London. As an Associate Curator of Artistic Bokeh, she is programming a satellite programme for the upcoming Vienna Biennale.

Naomi Pearce
 is a writer, producer and co-founder of the Woodmill. Recent curatorial and research projects include The Mechanical Garden and Other Long Encores, Dilston Grove, London (2014) and Women Under the Influence; an ongoing collaboration with Alice Hattrick and Linda Stupart working with correspondence and other archival material held in The Women’s Art Library, Goldsmiths University, London.

Return To List