Research and Archive




in collaboration with Goldsmiths College MFA Curating 





 The Future Imperfect, Saturday 15 July 2017, 2.00-6.00pm

If the ‘future imperfect’ were to exist in linguistics, it would be a verb tense which fuses the past, present and future. It would bring together the ‘future perfect’, which looks forwards to a situation with a predetermined ending, and the ‘imperfect’, referring to the potentially endless continuation of a past event.

 The Future Imperfect presents Cubitt’s archive in this tense. Considering the site of the archive and the archival document, typically, as a static, boxed-away, conception of history, The Future Imperfect looks towards the future of these documents.

 You are invited to reactivate documents from within the archive, using ‘state-of-the-art’ digital technology. By translating physical documents to digitised imitations, archiving in an age of rapid technological advancement is put to the test. Employees of the ‘Bureau of Transmogrification’ will guide you in the process of shaping a possible future for Cubitt’s archive, which may result in an outcome less ideal than originally hoped…

The Future Imperfect isa one-day performance event curated by Sophie Bownes and Lucy Cowling. It is an event with one-on-one performance, each lasting approximately ten minutes, and running continuously between 2.00-6.00pm.  This is the second edition of an ongoing collaboration between Cubitt and the MFA Curating programme at Goldsmiths, University of London. The collaboration allows students to conduct curatorial research within Cubitt Gallery and Studio’s rich archive, which narrates its twenty-six-year exhibition and event history.





To lear more about the Cubitt Archive Research Project, please visit our blog.







from the middle finger tip to the elbow bottom, Cubitt Archive Research Project 2016

from the middle finger tip to the elbow bottom is the culmination of the Cubitt Archive Research Project 2016, produced by Goldsmiths MFA Curating students Eline Kersten and Kirsty White, presented on 26 November 2016.

It presents a newly produced audio guide and map fictionally recreating Cubitt’s history through its physical and metaphorical landmarks. Commencing at Cubitt’s present location and home since 2000, Angel Mews, N1, visitors can take an individual journey to Cubitt’s three previous premises: Kings Cross Studios, Goods Way, NW1 (1991-1993); Cubitt Street, WC1X (1993-1994); and Caledonia Street, N1 (1994-1999), completing the tour at Angel Mews.

Join us on Saturday 26 November from 3pm to learn more about the project, browse through the Cubitt Archive and take a journey through Cubitt’s history in north-central London, with self-guided audio tours across past Cubitt venues from 4pm.

Please download the audio files from:






To celebrate its 25th anniversary in 2016, Cubitt launched a new partnership with the MFA Curating at Goldsmiths College to provide an exciting research and curatorial opportunity for two postgraduate students interested to delve into the Cubitt Archive and relative London art scene of the past 25 years.  Formulated as a self-initiated, project-based initiative with mentoring by a Cubitt Artist member and the Gallery Projects and Development Manager, with a final presentation to the public.












Cubitt is an artist-led organisation based in Angel, Islington. Since its founding in 1991, Cubitt has run as a co-operative led by its artists members, to comprise an internationally-recognised contemporary art gallery and Curatorial Fellowship; a locally-focused education programme, and 31 studios for professional artists. Over the years Cubitt has grown into a unique hub for the development in curatorial, artistic and educational practice in the visual arts, supported by a diverse community of practitioners while, in turn, supporting artists and curators.

Throughout its history, Cubitt has accumulated an important Archive as testament of its pioneering activities. Spanning from the early artist-organised exhibitions, to guest curators including now leading names in the international art scene (Penelope Curtis, former Director, Tate Britain; Matthew Higgs, Director/Chief Curator, White Columns, New York; Stefan Kalmar, Director, ICA, London and former Executive Director and Chief Curator, Artists’ Space, New York; Gregor Muir, former Executive Director, ICA, London, among many) to the founding of the Curatorial Bursary in 2001 that launched the career of many young curators, the Cubitt Archive includes documentation and exhibition material from over 20 years of activity as a leading artist-led institution and gallery.




Adam Chodzko cell-a 2006, 2002



This physical archive includes a huge range of documents, correspondence, publications, ephemera, images, videos and other material related to the history and activities of this artist-run organisation since its foundation to date.  With individual items dating from 1988 to 2011, it covers the early period of the organisation at Kings Cross Studios, Goods Way, NW1 (1991-1993); Cubitt Street, WC1X (1993-1994); Caledonia Street, N1 (1994-1999) and Angel Mews, N1 (2001- present).  The historical archive is now complemented by a digital archive of digital-born material (emails, digital documents, digital media, etc.), which in recent years represents an ever-growing proportion of new content.

The Cubitt Archive has been the focus of previous exhibitions and events, including cell-a 2006 by Adam Chodzko in 2002 (curated by Polly Staple) and the “Archive weekend”  Just What Is It That Makes Today’s Artist-Run Spaces So Different, So Appealing? organised by Bart van der Heide in 2007.




Just What Is It That Makes Today’s Artist-Run Spaces So Different, So Appealing? curated by Bart van der Heide, 2007


The archive weekend Just What Is It That Makes Today’s Artist-Run Spaces So Different, So Appealing? focused on the period of 1993 – 2007, presenting visual documentation of the Gallery programme and Cubitt’s various locations as well as invitations, press releases, posters and publications of past projects. It also includes audio recordings of talks and debates. A panel discussion on 13 October 2007 included past curators Matthew Higgs, Stefan Kalmar, Polly Staple, Emily Pethick, David Bussel and Tom Morton debating the past, present and future role of Cubitt in the changing climate of the London art scene.




Adam Chodzko cell-a 2006, 2002


Adam Chodzko’s cell-a 2006 (2002) depicted the activities of a group of Kurdish asylum seekers in Margate, Kent, invited by the artist to become keepers of the archive of the last 10 years of exhibitions and events at Cubitt. The entire project was set in 2006 when the lease on Cubitt’s current building was due to expire and the future of the organisation was once again uncertain. The Kurdish asylum seekers tried to make sense of the archive, editing, interpreting and storing the material. They alone knew its exact location, acting as guides to anyone who wished to visit it.

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