The Artist as Explorer

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An interactive installation, with artworks, autography, music and film, about archives, memory, collaboration, friendship and exploration, based on an imaginative reworking of the Richard Demarco archive for a Practice as Research PhD. This homage to the legacy of Richard Demarco and his role in the history of the Edinburgh Festival, in the form of a gesamtkunstwerk, is curated, created and performed by Aletia Upstairs in collaboration with the artist Richard Demarco. The lecture-ritual-participatory performance brings together in collaboration, for the first time, Richard Demarco and Aletia Upstairs.

Six masters of performance art, from the Richard Demarco archive, have been instrumental in this creation of this work: Joseph Beuys, Tadeusz Kantor, Paul Neagu, Marina Abramovic, Robert Filliou and Anthony Howell.

Richard Demarco considers the Language of all the Arts, as expressed through the original and first Edinburgh Festival, in 1947, to be a healing balm to the pain suffered by the global conflict of the Second World War.

Participatory in nature, interdisciplinary and intercultural, this is work of art deals with both the past and the future of the Edinburgh Festival. It takes the form of an account of the Festival from the contributions made by a significant number of artists who, in their lives and work, personified the concept of “The Artist as Explorer.” Careful consideration is given to those who are no longer with us but have greatly contributed to the ethos of the Edinburgh Festival, under the aegis of the Traverse Theatre and Gallery, the Demarco Gallery, and the Demarco European Art Foundation.