Past Event

The Contents of a House

Fri 15 Feb 2013

The British performance artist Peter Reder has spent weeks mining the tales and the treasures of Preston Manor. Now he wants to tell you about them.

Preston Manor is the epitome of Edwardian glamour, yet its history reaches back to the Domesday Book. Over the centuries it has become a repository of memory: a trove of objects, images and histories. What are they, and what do they mean?

The Contents of a House will attempt to catalogue everything you can see in the house in the hope that something of the unseen, the unspoken – even the unspeakable – will emerge. This subversive promenade performance takes the form of a tour, guided by Reder himself. Images, video, anecdotes and personal interaction will reanimate the building and the artifacts within it, with perhaps a touch of fantasy to bring Preston Manor’s past to life.

Read review in The Guardian

'The Contents of a House takes a sly look at the notion of a private home that is now open to the public.... Reder is a captivating guide with a softly spoken, dry wit' The Independent  read full review >

'The Contents of a House is another attempt to recover people who have vanished... Gradually the quizzical scepticism of the enterprise becomes apparent. This is a one-man version of Alan Bennett’s People, a slant-eyed look at heritage... Pausing portentously in a featureless passageway, Reder points out a thickly painted, undistinguished arch. That, he explains, is the oldest part of the house. Well, perhaps not the arch itself. Perhaps the space beneath it. We are looking at ancient air.' 
Susannah Clapp, The Observer  read full review >