London Berlin Series 1975-76

A series of live, participatory performances at the Slade School of Art, London and Hochschule der Künste, Berlin. Collaboration with Peter Dunn.

L_B front cover

The London Berlin performances were an early attempt by Loraine Leeson and Peter Dunn to explore the context in which art is enacted, taking place while Loraine was attending the Hochschule deer Künste in Berlin on a DAAD scholarship, and Peter was studying at the Slade School in London. The performances dealt with notions of private/public, process/product, self/other, individual versus collective decision making, and the contexts of art, culture, society and ideology within which these activities take place.

The first event took place with Peter alone in his studio in London and Loraine in a shared studio in Berlin. Messages were conveyed via telephone (this was a long time before the internet!) such that a drawing of a divided being carried out on paper by Peter was instantaneously turned into a large scale installation made out of earth by a group of participants working with Loraine in Berlin. Each participant was given a message relating to the context of art to debate with the group. They wrote their conclusions in their section of the earth square, and these were also telephoned back to the UK to complete the drawing there.

London Berlin two pages

In the second performance, documentation of this event was returned to the Slade in London, where the earthen square was also marked out with the written conclusions formed in Berlin. Videotapes of both events were screened to a group of London students, who were then asked to modify them according to their own ideas. A new drawing documented these.

The final event took place at the Hochschule der Künste in Berlin, where the installation plus video documentation of all events was screened and the audience similarly asked to develop the ideas further. A new piece of work was also displayed based on the very isolating nature of German art education of that time.

LB Book at AfC Berlin

Expanded book as exhibited at ‘Art for Change – Loraine Leeson: Works from 1975-2005’ at NGBK Berlin 2005

A handmade book documents the events.