Three Kings: Performance Project at Kings College London

Ewan Forster, Christopher Heighes

Research output: Non-textual formPerformance


Three King’s was a multi-component research project that explored the processes of disposal and redevelopment within public institutions. Specifically, the research outputs were a film installation (triptych), three artist booklets (‘Revenue’, ‘Plant Science’ and ‘22 Kingsway’) and a short film (‘From the Ruins’).

The documentary installation, accompanying booklets and film were developed over five years as part of a larger research programme on ‘institution’ initiated by Professor Alan Read and the Performance Foundation - ‘In the Ruins of the University’. It aimed to shift perceptions of the estate of King’s College, London beyond pragmatic rationales of supply and demand. The project was presented as part of the Arts and Humanities Research Festival, 2016.

Research methodologies:

1. Film and photographic survey techniques of the materiality and sonic atmosphere of subsidiary and ancillary architectural space – to challenge conventional hierarchies of architectural value and heritage.

2. Site-specific intervention within the Old Council Chamber (the former site of institutional decision-making at King’s) involving the re-purposing of furniture as a presentational device for film, photography and writing – to create new experiences of architectural interaction between geographically separate sites within the same institution.

3. Original writing and bespoke publication of process narratives - to make public the hidden discourses of the partnership’s creative processes to further public engagement with, and understanding of, unconventional forms of architectural appraisal.

The research was further disseminated through a symposium ‘The Less Familiar – How Artists work with Buildings’ curated by Forster & Heighes and including specialists from the commercial development sector (Urban Splash and Uncommon) and public bodies concerned with heritage and preservation (Twentieth Century Society and Historic England).

Three King’s drew its participants and audience from the Festival’s visitors and the readership of C20 magazine. Elements of the project are accessible through the websites of Forster & Heighes and AHRI.


Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationKing's College London
Publication statusPublished - 2016

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