An image of 1001 nights cast archive editionAn image of 1001 nights cast archive edition

Barbara Campbell

(1961 – )

1001 nights cast archive edition

Not on display
Further information

Barbara Campbell has been working with performance since the early 1980s across live, documented and broadcast modes. Her major work '1001 nights cast' unfolded over three years, from 2005-2008, and involved Campbell webcasting a story 'live into the ether' every night for 1001 consecutive nights. The stories were written by hundreds of collaborators who responded to a brief text prompt that Campbell had pulled from the day's newspapers, specifically from stories about events in the Middle East. The spoken stories could only be witnessed in real time; the watercolour prompts and written texts that form the basis of this print edition remain as both original 'scripts' and archival traces.

The expansive structure of the work takes its cue from the famous anthology of stories The Arabian nights also known as the 1001 nights, a provisional, evolving compendium of tales by anonymous authors which evokes 'the East' as an abstract, imaginary realm. The larger narrative which frames this book is one of storytelling for survival: the young woman Scheherazade stalls her execution by weaving an endless story of such intrigue the King Shahriyar eventually grants her a reprieve.

In Campbell's words: "1001 nights cast is a project generated by the forces of The 1001 nights: the theatrics of the voiced story, the need for framing devices, the strategies for survival, the allure of the Middle East and its contrasting realities."

colour printed using an HP Indigo 5500 digital offset printer on satin 170gsm stock
dimensions variable
Signature & date

Signed l.r. [part a], pencil "B Campbell". Not dated.

Contemporary Collection Benefactors 2015
Accession number
© Barbara Campbell