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Archivist Dan Heather, curator of the current Bonington Vitrines exhibition Communicating the Contemporary – The ICA Bulletin 1950s to 1990s, will be joining us on Saturday 17 February to discuss the role of the archivist and the value of archives in the contemporary arts.

The talk will examine the place of archives in exhibition making, following the so-called ‘archival turn’ in cultural production; the relationship between the archivist, curator and artist (including the artist-as-archivist); and the growth of art galleries, museums and cultural bodies engaging with their own archive collections to examine and re-evaluate their history.

The talk will also explore alternative approaches to archives and archiving, looking at radical and disruptive ideas around collecting and managing archive material and the value of archives not only as objects for historical enquiry, but as a generative source for new activity.


Dan Heather is currently the Deputy Archivist for Barts Health, an NHS Trust which manages archives and museum objects covering almost 900 years of healthcare and medicine in East London. He was previously the archivist at the Institute of Contemporary Arts (ICA). He has also worked as an archivist in higher education, managing the records of Hornsey College of Art, and in architecture, at Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners.