WHAT MATTER | performance

A new performance on themes of work, resistance and an embarrassed longing for things soft.

Filmed at Kings Place, October 7 2016. Duration 16’25”.

Commissioned by Hubbub as part of its exploration of rest and its opposites, a research project hosted by the Hub at Wellcome Collection.

It made me want to tie things together, things from my house.


plots and improvised doorways | printroom, rotterdam, 18/02/17

Holly Pester and Emma Bennett and PrintRoom present afternoon of willful tales linking archive fragments, body parts and furniture.

From 5 – 8 pm at PrintRoom, Rotterdam.


Performance afternoon staged alongside our work as guest tutors at “Speech Commands”, a writing programme at Piet Zwart, hosted by Kate Briggs and Steve Rushton.

Daydreaming in the City | HOME, Manchester | 27/11/17

This micro-festival explored daydreaming and poetic states of mind, and featured an eclectic programme of spoken word performance, talks, music and film. Presented by live poetry producer, Poet in the City in collaboration with Hubbub, a collective of social scientists, artists, researchers and mental health experts in residence at the Wellcome Trust.

I performed Hey Blessed Giant Skull! A duet for one. Voicing the process of ‘getting to grips’ – cognitively, physically, sonically – with Dylan Thomas’s poem ‘In Memory of Ann Jones’.

Listen here:

An earlier version of this piece was performed at Cafe Curio, Camden Arts Centre (22/08/12) following a commission from London Word Festival to create a response to George Orwell’s essay ‘Poetry and the Microphone’.

Excellent Moth Eat Poetry | Word Gulch | Curve Gallery, Barbican | 24/11/16

Emma has big bathtubs as eyes. Holly makes bikini bread. The Basset Hound is coming along. Excellent Moth Eats Poetry makes sites of flourishing rackets and companionship. It performs friendship as a co-hallucinatory technology, realised in shared images, intuitions, jokes and ventriloquisms.

A play with statues by Holly Pester and Emma Bennett.

Presented a Word Gulch, a night of performances with Sian Robinson Davies, Mr. Ferris, Reet Maff’l and hosted by Matthew de Kersaint Giraudeau.

Part of Bedwyr Williams: The Gulch.

The Things They Do | Symposium on Ragnar Kjartansson | Barbican | 29/07/16

An experimental one-day symposium, curated by Joe Kelleher and Nicholas Ridout in response to the exhibition by Ragnar Kjartansson in the Barbican Art Gallery, 14 July – 4 September 2014.

Kjartansson’s work brings together live performance, music, film, painting and drawing and often includes experiments in repetition and endurance, contemporary music, Icelandic literature and romantic melancholy. This day of performances, presentations and conversations from artists, writers and academics explores the theme of appropriation and is inspired by Kjartansson’s interest in making art out of the things that other people do.

For this symposium I revive my teenage piano lessons and (attempt to) perform Chopin’s ‘Raindrop Prelude’ non-stop for 4 hours, alongside an indoor waterfall in the Barbican’s conservatory.

Other contributors include Karen Christopher, Broderick Chow, Richard DeDomenici, Laure Fernandez, Jordan McKenzie, Stacy Makishi, Madison Moore, Hayley Newman, Gary Stevens, Simon Vincenzi and David Williams.

WE ARE | Voices of Urgency at FIAC | Paris | 22/10/15

WE ARE | a short play by Holly Pester and Emma Bennett

Introduced by the inimitable Alex Cecchetti. Followed by a reading from the wonderful Dorothea Lasky.

Filmed at the Chapelle des Petits-Augustins at the Beaux-Arts de Paris, 22nd October 2015 for Voices of Urgency, a cycle of seminars and discussions relating to poetry and the social sciences. Presented by FIAC, in association with the École nationale supérieur des beaux-arts de Paris and the Maison de la Poésie. Devised and orchestrated by Alex Cecchetti, Voices of Urgency invites the public to four events where poetry lies at the heart of the discussion, in direct confrontation with art and other forms of contemporary thought.

For this night, we were asked to talk and write around the phrase ‘we are’, so we wrote a short play about ethics, comedy and female friendship.