Sunday 12 April, 4pm at BEEF, 25 Portland Square

Karen Di Franco will present material from the solo exhibition of Carlyle Reedy, Icons of a Process (Flat Time House, September 2014) and discuss the on going project to document Reedy’s archive that contains a fascinating array of material documenting her long career. Carlyle Reedy was a leading figure in the performance art that emerged in Britain in the late 1960s and early 1970s. She has worked solo and also as part of several fluctuating groups of co-performers.

What is remarkable in her work is the way in which facets of visual art, facets of writing and facets of theatre have been brought together to create something new and mobile without losing anything of their distinct nature. Reedy has used film and video sporadically over the years, always in collaboration with individuals and organisations (such as Hornsey College of Art and London Video Arts) that provided equipment and support. Many works operate as static documents, often of female faces, that would be incorporated into performances. Later video works often use the domestic space as a stage for meditative durational performances, such as Carlyle Reedy’s Hands In Process (1988).


Carlyle Reedy (born Virginia, 1938) is a poet, performance artist and collagist-painter. Working mainly in the UK since the 1960s, her early performances and readings took place at venues such as The Arts Lab, Middle Earth, Gallery House, London Musicians Collective and Acme (all London) and later at Franklin Furnace (NY), Chisenhale Gallery, South Hill Park and ICA (London). She has exhibited at Peter Biddulph Gallery and England & Co. (London) and was featured in the survey exhibition and catalogue Out of Actions: Between Performance and the Object, 1949-1979 at MOCA (Los Angeles) in 1998. Five of her collages were purchased by the Arts Council Collection in 1999. Reedy has devised productions for theatres such as the Royal Court Theatre and Riverside Studios and has led two avant-garde performance groups: Monkey Enterprises (1974-77) and O Production (1981-2). She has taught at Maidstone and Slade schools and was a member of the Artist Placement Group. Her poetry has been included in numerous anthologies, as well as the solo collections: Obituaries and Celebrations published by Words Worth Books, 1995 and Epos: Selected Poems by Etruscan Books, 2012.

Karen Di Franco is an archivist and a curator, working with collections of materials and ephemera of individuals and institutions. Recent projects include the solo exhibition, Icons of a Process, of the artist and poet, Carlyle Reedy at Flat Time House (2014); the development of Book Works online archive and the touring exhibition and publication Again, A Time Machine (2010-12). She has written for the Art Libraries Journal about digital archiving and contributed to various conferences, symposia and workshops about archives at the National Media Museum, Bradford, RCA, Tate, Winchester College of Art, Eastside Projects and Grand Union, Birmingham. She has been an independent researcher in the UK Web Archive at the British Library, a director of the artist-led organisation, Plan 9, Bristol and is currently involved in the research project ‘The Disembodied Voice’ and is public programme curator at CHELSEA space at Chelsea College of Arts.

Karen Di Franco has been invited by BEEF member Elisa Kay.

Image credit: Documentation of material from the archive of Carlyle Reedy from the exhibition Icons of a Process, Flat Time House, London (September 2014). Courtesy of Karen Di Franco.