Wednesday, March 19, 2014


AHRC-funded Collaborative Partnership Award 
with the University of Exeter and Tate: A History of Performance and Performative Art at Tate Ref: 1472

About the award
A History of Performance and Performative Art at Tate
Applications are invited for an AHRC-funded Collaborative Partnership Award with the University of Exeter and Tate to research and study the history of Tate’s involvement with performance and performative art. Historical in nature, the proposed dissertation will map and analyse Tate’s engagement with performance and performative art through researching its collection and programme of events, going back to the 1960s.

Tate has long acquired works which have performative elements, although these have often not been recognised as such in the museum’s documentation systems or in displays. Live performances have also been staged at Tate from the 1960s when a number of early performance works and talks were hosted by the education department. All four Tate galleries have staged performative works in the intervening years, and after 2003, and with the introduction of Tate Live and then the Tanks, Tate’s programming of performance became more systematic. Such events have generated a wide range of different types of documents, including films, photographs, texts from programmes, artist statements and correspondence, and press clippings. The student will need to consider the methodological issues surrounding the use of such records to create a history of performance and the performative at Tate.

Based at Tate in London, the student will join a small research team on the AHRC-funded two-year project ‘Collecting, Archiving and Sharing Performance and the Performative’ that starts in autumn 2014. This will see the publication of a project website with scholarly essays and 100 case studies about individual artworks and events, a book and articles. The project will also involve a workshop to test user engagement and will culminate in an international conference. The student will contribute in a range of ways to the success and longer-term legacies of the project. He or she will have opportunities to participate in and help organise the planned events and will contribute scholarly texts to the project’s website (twenty case studies and timeline), as well as, potentially, longer pieces for the planned book and Tate Papers. Analysis of the legacies of the project (work that is not funded by the AHRC project grant) would be particularly valuable, setting a useful precedent for future research projects at Tate. He or she will also have opportunities to engage with Tate's programme of performances during the studentship and to become part of the Centre for Intermedia at the University of Exeter.

The dissertation supervisors are Professor Gabriella Giannachi (University of Exeter) and Dr Jennifer Mundy (Head of Collection Research, Tate). The proposed second supervisor at University of Exeter is Professor Fabrizio Nevola. Other members of the project team at Tate include Catherine Wood (Curator, Performance and International Art) and a full-time post-doctoral Research Associate.