• 25 November to 17 December 2020
  • The British Art Talks podcast is an audio series from the Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art. It features new research and aims to enhance and expand knowledge of British art and architecture. The autumn 2020 series features a range of artists’ takes on art histories, as construed and configured in their work.

Elizabeth Price’s moving image installations are intricate digital architectures where voice, event, edifice and artefact are summoned, gathered, assembled. Her Turner Prize-winning The Woolworths Choir of 1979 (2012) is, for example, an immersive installation, as auditorium for the narration of a tragic event via an uneven multitude of testimonies: a devastating fire which killed ten people at the Manchester Woolworths department store. Her 2016 installation A Restoration is a fiction narrated by a ‘chorus’ of museum administrators, working to reconstruct the abstruse form of the Knossos Labyrinth as a virtual chamber where collection data, images and texts flow and collide.

In this British Art Talk Elizabeth hones in on a subject matter that gives form not only to the strange harmonies and affectivity of these works, but to her broader practice: the Gothic. The talk itself is an eye-opening assemblage of exemplar footage, the voice of the artist and historical as well as contemporary gothic imagery. Revelatory photographs of the ecclesiastical architecture of Gloucester, Exeter, and Winchester cathedrals shape part one of this talk. Part two, 'Plans and Elevations', and part three, 'Song and Dans' are also available.

About the speaker

  • Head and shoulders portrait of Elizabeth Price

    Elizabeth Price was born in Bradford, Yorkshire in 1966. She grew up in Luton, Bedfordshire and attended Putteridge Comprehensive Secondary School. She studied at the Royal College of Art, London and the University of Leeds. She makes short videos which explore the social and political histories of artefacts, architectures and documents. The subject matter may sometimes be historic artworks of great cultural significance, but it is more frequently marginal or derogated things, and often pop-cultural or mass produced objects. The video narrations draw upon and satirise the administrative vernaculars of relevant public and academic institutions as well as advertising copy and other texts of private and commercial organisations.

    Alongside her work as an artist she works as an academic. In recent years she has been employed at Goldsmiths, the Royal College of Art and the Ruskin School of Art. She is presently Professor of Film and Photography at Kingston University. She teaches across disciplines and levels but recently has focussed upon working with artists developing formally innovative PhD projects.