Download the programme

> here (web, 3mb)

(WARNING!  - Imaginary Season - please read intro)


  1. Geraldine Pilgrim

  2. José Antonio Sánchez

  3. La Ribot

  4. Gary Stevens

  5. Vivi Tellas

  6. Nicolás Goldberg

  7. Christine Peters

  8. Yara El-Sherbini

  9. David Rosenberg / Shunt

  10. Rajni Shah

  11. Bill Aitchison

  12. Goran Sergej Pristas

  13. Frauke Requardt

  14. Momus

  15. The Centre of Attention

  16. Duckie

  17. Lois Keidan

  18. Borrowers-International-Network

  19. Hannah Hurtzig

  20. Home

  21. Zhana Ivanova

  22. Station House Opera

  23. Janez Janša

  24. Stefan Kaegi

  25. See programme for full artist info, links etc


"an extraordinary season of virtual projects...

what's on offer in True Riches is considerably more mouthwatering than anything in the ICA's current programme." - Lyn Gardner, The Guardian - read


Filling a gap, and always willing to lend a hand when major arts organisations fail to do their jobs properly, we are delighted to announce the re-opening of the ICA Live Art Department, albeit in imaginary form.

True Riches is an independent curatorial project comprising virtual programming and proposals from an international group of artists, curators and thinkers working in and around Live Art.


The closure of ICA’s Live Arts and Media Department was announced by Ekow Eshun, (Director ICA, London) in October 2008 (and became a fact at the end of November) with an accompanying email statement in which he remarked that the area of practice lacked the 'depth and cultural urgency' necessary to command the continued resources and focus of the institution, arguing that in any case ICA’s commitment to live practice would continue to happen ‘naturally’ through the programming initiatives of the remaining departments.

We sincerely doubt that such a scenario will work out well for ICA’s profile of and commitment to Live Art. In fact ICA's lack of interest in Live Art over the last several years has been manifest and despite earlier eras of commitment to the form - with programming in theatre and gallery spaces, commissions, discussion events and platforms - they've long since ceased to be considered as much of a player in the Live Art area. How the closing of the Live Arts Department would improve this already grim situation seems at best pretty hard to explain.

Some believe that Live Art in London/UK can do well enough without the ICA - concentrating their efforts on other spaces and communities, creating different relations to the institutional practice of art. We do have plenty of passion and support for these kinds of practices and positions. At the end of the day though, we also think that in a city as big, culturally rich and varied in its makeup and history as London is, it is important that an arts centre like the ICA, should give adequate space to this important area of contemporary practice. The ICA in London, positioned at the city’s geographical centre and as its experimental vanguard, should embrace and champion the possibilities of Live Art to speak to the contemporary situation and to address publics in the most extraordinary, thought-provoking and challenging ways. ICA is perceived by many on the international scene as a model contemporary arts space. Live Art - with all of its hybrid tendencies, its blurring of boundaries, its fun, vitality, energy and relevance really should be there with the full weight and resources of the institution.


The project True Riches – an imaginary season which runs from now until the end of 2009 at the ICA - arises from our invitations to around 25 individuals to make proposals for works, seasons and themed and un-themed programmes. It gathers materials which stem from a variety of approaches, tendencies, and impulses in the live art sector – from the satirical critical to the archival, from the comical subversive to the theoretical investigative. None of these events will happen but it's good to know that were this season to become a reality we'd even have a buffet of zero gravity food.

The ICA Live Art Department, even though it does not exist, is alive and well and glad of your support. We would like to extend our thanks to the many artists and curators who have joined us to make the varied proposals, statements and programmes that comprise True Riches. We hope that you’ll join us, in imagination, for these and other events. We can dream perhaps that London would have a place where such things were possible.

Tim Etchells / Ant Hampton

True Riches:

A Programme of Live Art for the ICA

This is the ARCHIVE site for the collaborative programme of imaginary events, now over, initiated and 'curated' by Tim Etchells and Ant Hampton in response to the closure of the Live Arts department of the ICA (London, UK) in October 2008.