At: Scarborough, North Yorkshire, performatively engaging with Kane Cunningham’s Cliff House.

In July, 2011, nine of us traveled to Scarborough in North Yorkshire to take up residence at 20 Knipe point, a small bungalow perched on the edge of an eroding cliff. According to the National Trust, the house should have gone over the cliff eighteen months ago, but it’s still hanging on.

The idea was everyone would have their own project, or some people could work in pairs, and the projects would be either planned in advance or develop in response to the house, or else some combination. The main rule was each project would get four pages in a publication we would make, or the pairs would get eight pages.

The resulting performances-for-documentation were composed of bathtub conversations, embroidered text, improvised type-writing, forensic evidence and scatological fiction.  They also subtly recorded the precarity inscribed in this site, from the literal and conceptual precarity Cunningham emphasises in his own discourse around his project, to the interpersonal tensions, conflicts and failures of understanding that often place community-based artworks on the edge.

This book, designed by Vanessa O’Reilly and Emma Leslie, is a tangible product of the interactions from that residency, made possible the generous support of I’m with you audiences.

Buy the book

cover art

Scarborough field recording composition: Jan Mertens

Photos: Christa Holka

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