Anne Grebby
 
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Arkive

Between 1998 and 2000, three artists, Sophie Benson, Helmut Lemke and Anne Grebby collaborated in a travelling site-specific, multi-media project. Arkive responded to the architecture, history, function and spiritual resonance of sacred spaces.

The work attempted to make clearing in each site, in which all the historic trappings, symbolic and ritualistic content would be marginalized and the site could be experienced as a place in its own right.

The main material resources of the archive consisted of a set of flexible membrane sheets. These were made from liquid latex in the shape and dimensions of the massive stone segments which form the base of the Chapter House at Lincoln Cathedral. (the first venue.)

Decisions taken during the installation process and the development of the project were entirely dependent on the dynamics of each individual site, (the architecture, (or natural phenomena), its dimensions, light qualities, sounds, movement, function, the amount of human presence, or absence.) The membranes’ static potential was used to collect and distribute both visual and audio resonances. Each place required a completely different response. The developmental aspect of each work was made accessible to the public throughout the installation process.

 

 

 

In Lincoln Cathedral the emphasis was placed on the interactive nature of the membrane. The latex sheets were suspended from the central pillar of the Chapter House, fanning outwards in a circular form. This ‘drum skin’ functioned, not only as a visual intervention, but also as a sound-carrier. Megaphones were placed beneath it for public use. Traditionally, the space had been used as a site for both secular and clerical debate.(Parliament met there in the sixteenth century.)

More than 2,000 people took part during the seven days of the event.All of the Arkive sites demanded a different approach. The question of function for the sheets was a priority. They were capable of great diversity, endlessly mutating.They could be transformed from being fishing nets on an estuary in Devon, catching the remnants left by the tide, to having microphones embedded in them, electronically wired and played as instruments in Alstadter Nicholaikirche, Bielefeld

As it moved from site to site, the archival experiments were stored through texts, sound recordings, video, photographs and drawings. Each Arkive was treated as a potential store for specialized research routes.

‘Resonance’ cannot be documented but it can be celebrated in passing.