Adrian Heathfield writes on, curates and creates performance. He is the author of Out of Now, a monograph on the artist Tehching Hsieh, editor of Ally and Live: Art and Performance and co-editor of Perform, Repeat, Record. His numerous essays have been translated into ten languages.

He conducted the three year European Union funded creative research project Curating the Ephemeral (2014–2016) on immaterial art and museal practices. He was co-director of Performance Matters, a four-year AHRC funded research project on the cultural value of performance (2009–2013).

He co-curated the Live Culture events at Tate Modern, London (2003) and a number of other performance and durational events in European cities over the last eighteen years. He was curator of Doing Time, the Taiwan Pavilion at the 57th Venice Biennale (2017), a curatorial adviser and attaché for the 20th Biennale of Sydney (2016) and an artistic director with the collective freethought of the 2016 Bergen Assembly, Norway.

Heathfield has worked with many artists and thinkers on critical and creative collaborations including film dialogues, performance-lectures, dramaturgy, writing and workshop projects. He was President of Performance Studies international (2004–2007) and is Professor of Performance and Visual Culture at the University of Roehampton, London.

 

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Somewhere Near Variety

Tim Etchells and Adrian Heathfield

Director and writer Etchells pursued a dialogue with Heathfield on the life and residues of Variety Theatre in contemporary art and performance practice. In this eclectic and evocative exchange their dialogue ranges through sources as diverse as memories of childhood, Saturday night TV of the 1970s and 1980s, Bruce Forsythe, Morecambe and Wise, Laurence Olivier in John Osborne’s The Entertainer, Tommy Cooper, cabaret performance, found photography and the performance works of Forced Entertainment. Turning over each other’s thoughts on Variety they come to examine the nature of entertainment, laughter, mortality, exoticism and the tireless re-cycling of forms.

Somewhere Near Variety was commissioned by the Live Art Development Agency and was originally presented as part of Variety Acts a weekend of performances and discussions at the De La Warr Pavilion, Bexhill-on-Sea, November 2005. A DVD of Somewhere Near Variety is published by the Live Art Development Agency.

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Somewhere Near Variety Photo and © Tim Etchells