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Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design, The London Institute


The Artists’ Film & Video Study Collection at Central St Martins

The project began with the appointment of David Curtis as the Centre's Senior Research Fellow, based at CSM in October 2000. He is responsible for the development of the study collection at Central St. Martins which will contain copies of artists’ films & tapes and the paper documentation that supports this work. The collection will be available for research use by post-graduate students, curators and other writers on film on a limited basis from March 2001. A chronology of artists’ films & videos made in Britain is on-line in draft form via the Study Collection website. This chronology in database-form, together with a database of the collection’s holdings will become available on this site.

A loan-agreement with the Arts Council of England (ACE) means that the study collection will include tapes of many of the works funded by ACE between 1975 and 2000. Additionally, individual artists will be invited to lend copies of their films/tapes and documentation to the collection, to ensure that it is fully representative of the range of British work – much of which was not publicly funded. A key aspect of this research project will be to trace and document important ‘missing’ works from the past. It has also been agreed that there should be a close link between this project and the Lux Centre’s ambitious plans to digitise its collections of artists’ films/videos, and to make them available on-line and through a publicly-accessible videotheque.

In addition to artists’ films & videos, the study collection will include documentation of installations and ‘expanded cinema’, hopefully including specially commissioned records of re-staged works. The paper documentation will reflect all stages in the film-making process: artists’ proposals for films - the drawings, diagrams and storyboards that precede their works; the manifestos and statements that help shape artists’ thinking, and the reviews and critical essays that follow exhibition. Also in the collection will be film-stills, posters, screening-announcements and documentation of key artist-run film/video organisations - such as the London Film Makers Co-op, London Video Arts and Circles.

The study collection will work closely with bfi Collections to ensure that artists’ original film/video materials that are at risk are preserved for future generations and restored where necessary; and to make neglected works from the past available to study.

From the outset, the study collection will encourage and support the publication of monographs and collections of documentation in paper and on-line form, and to organise film-programmes and exhibitions based on its research programmes.


David Curtis
British Artists' Film and Video Study Collection
Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design
Southampton Row
London WC1B 4AP

020 7514 8159




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Last modified 16 June, 2005 ; web@bftv.ac.uk