In April 2018, the BFI hosted ‘Artists, Fiction and Cinema: Staging the Stuart Croft Archive’, a special re-presentation of Stuart Croft’s 2014 Sotheby’s lecture alongside the first UK screening of his 2010 film, ‘The Stag Without a Heart’. The event, which was developed in partnership with the foundation, revisited Stuart’s ideas and reflected on how his archive might be activated in the present day.
When introducing the event, Will Fowler, curator of artists’ moving image at the BFI explained:
“It’s been a pleasure to have developed this event with artists and foundation trustees, Emma Bennett, Anna Lucas and Keira Greene. We decided that we didn’t just want to show a selection of Stuart’s films but somehow unpick and illustrate a context for his work. As ideas progressed we realised that we would actually be able to incorporate different elements of his archive, in a sense bringing it to life or activating it dynamic fashion.”
Stuart Croft’s lecture script, which is available in the Stuart Croft archive, was read by artists Emma Bennett, Anna Lucas and Harriet Fleuriot and was accompanied by the original video clips shown by Stuart from his hard-drive.
You can view extracts from the event and read the BFI’s screening notes:
‘Artists, Fiction and Cinema: Staging the Stuart Croft Archive’ marked an important moment of celebration and proposition for the archive. As a continuation of this enlivening approach to how the archive is used, the foundation announced the launch of a Research Award to enable curators, writers and researchers to realise innovate projects that directly encounter the archive of Stuart Croft. Applicants were invited to consider ways in which they could generate original contributions to the public access and discourse surrounding Stuart’s work. In August 2018, curator, filmmaker and writer Adam Roberts was awarded the £3000 Research Award fund for his project ‘Retrospect: residue, trace, absence’.
A month later, cataloguing of the Stuart Croft archive was completed by the dedicated project archivist in the BFI Special Collections Team, Fabian Macpherson. This was a huge and significant undertaking that included appraising, cataloguing and carrying out basic preservation for both paper and digital documents.
Fabian has published a summary of insights from his work on the Stuart Croft archive.
We are delighted to reveal that the Stuart Croft archive catalogue is now available online via BFI Collections Search. We look forward to seeing the archive being accessed and activated.