Welcome to the archive website of Anna Best. Designed as a filing cabinet each file divider represents a project or piece of work, arranged in chronological order by title. Viewers can click on the title of the filing tab and see that work’s documentation as images and descriptive details such as date, duration, context, artefacts, funder, credits etc.
The website is currently being refurbished and some projects are inaccessible. Please get in touch with Anna for a password.
Anna’s art practice has a conceptual approach and over time she has employed a large number of techniques and materials, though always underpinned by writing and photography.
Past projects were conceived as performance/live experiences, when the event was also a context-specific installation (1995-2005). The audience are within the scene and are part of the work. She has embraced complexity, invited contingency and questioned networks of relationships and layers of collaboration. Process is important: whether thinking, production, or communication process, in all its messiness, with all its surprises and failures. She proposed that these time based projects can occupy public space underpinned with the question “When, as opposed to what, is the art?”. Projects (labelled ‘Socially Engaged’) interpret the commission and the institutional agenda (e.g. Occasional Sights reinterprets the photograph as an act rather than an image; error 404, satirises the newly emerging internet as a department store; Mecca, questions the ‘art for all’ agenda of publicly funded art establishments ‘outreach’ programmes).
In this period she was also interested in independence from the art market, engaging in short and long term affiliations and collaborations with other artists, initiating curated projects with a focus on self education, (e.g Shave Artist Workshops 1991-7, Road for the Future 2012, Prospectus 2017).
Anna has been working independently with a studio practice for the past 10 years (‘Asocial’). She explored the possibility of artist’s autonomy as a patron through the project The Mothership 2016-ongoing, in her studio in Dorset.
She is making single screen video (The Tangle 2018 and Plastic Water Stone 2019, alongside writing (Limestone Interruptions) and watercolour (Selfies 2021). She is also making photographic work and video in collaboration with Nick Berkeley.
Sign up to the Unincorporated Collaborations mailing list for occasional updates.
Pete Edwards and e-2.org, Live Art Development Agency, Mark Segal, Katie Murphy, Tessa Bide, Sarah Winch, Graham Shackleton.