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‘Trophies of Empire’ Archive Study Day

05 oct 2019
Arnolfini, Bristol.

Split across sites in Liverpool, Bristol and Hull, the landmark 1992–93 exhibition ‘Trophies of Empire’ was initiated by artist Keith Piper and Bluecoat Gallery in Liverpool, and co-organised with Arnolfini and Hull Time Based Arts. With the participation of Keith Piper and Bryan Biggs (Bluecoat), this event brings together artists, academics and people involved in ‘Trophies of Empire’ to look in detail at this far-reaching exhibition.

Installation view, Veena Stephenson, Ring a Ring O’Roses, A Pocket Full of Posies, Atishoo, Atishoo…, 1992, in ‘Trophies of Empire’, Arnolfini Gallery, Bristol, 1992–93. Courtesy the artist and Arnolfini at Bristol Archives.

For ‘Trophies of Empire’, artists were invited to respond to the histories of British imperial power and the transatlantic slave trade, and their imprint on the present, particularly in relation to the three host port cities. Gathering together new artistic commissions and live art performances, each element  was designed to interrogate and challenge the life and legacy of British colonialism. The exhibition was set against the backdrop of two significant geopolitical events in 1992: the quincentenary of Columbus’ colonial ‘discovery’ of the Americas, and consolidation of ‘Fortress Europe’ with the founding of the European Union by the Maastricht Treaty.

The archive study day will begin with an in-conversation between Piper, Biggs and Louis Hartnoll, followed by a roundtable led by art historian Anjalie Dalal-Clayton (University of the Arts London). In between the two public discussions, attendees will have the chance to look through a range of materials related to the exhibition held in the Arnolfini Archive.

‘Trophies of Empire’ Archive Study Day
Saturday 5 October, 14:00–18:00

16 Narrow Quay
BS1 4QAt

Tickets: £8 (concessions £6). Tickets are available on the Arnolfini website.

This event is organised in collaboration with Arnolfini, Bristol. It forms part of the Exhibition Histories research and publication project, developed by Afterall and published in association with Asia Art Archive, Hong Kong and the Center for Curatorial Studies, Bard College.

The Exhibition Histories series is distributed by Koenig Books, London.