Acme, supporting artists since 1972

'72-82' A Film by William Raban

72-82 is a one-hour film by William Raban commissioned by Acme Studios as part of its 40th anniversary celebrations. The film follows on from the archive exhibition at the Whitechapel Gallery: Supporting Artists: Acme’s First Decade 1972-1982 (7 Sept 2013 to 23 Feb 2014).

The film draws on a wide range of archive material from Acme’s first decade to reveal what this artist-led organisation’s early years were about. There were two connecting threads: the first the use by artists of hundreds of short-life houses in East London, and then ex-industrial buildings, to create cheap living and studio space, the second, The Acme Gallery in Covent Garden, which supported those whose work, particularly in installation and performance, would challenge the idea of what a gallery should be and sometimes the fabric of the building itself.

Through the exclusive use and layering of this archive material 72-82 powerfully communicates this history and the spirit of that time. This is further animated by the voices of artists and others who were part of the story, and who Raban recently interviewed: Kevin Atherton, Bobby Baker, Anne Bean, Stuart Brisley, Richard Cork, David Critchley, Richard Deacon, Fergus Early, Ron Haselden, Charles Hayward, Jacky Lansley, Jock McFadyen, Ken McMullen, Sandy Nairne, Simon Read, Claire Smith, Cosey Fanni Tutti, Anthony Whishaw, Alison Wilding, Richard Wilson and Bill Woodrow.

72-82 had its UK premiere in October last year as part of the Experimenta programme of the BFI London Film Festival and was subsequently screened by Acme to invited audiences at Hackney Picturehouse on three occasions. The film has now been shown more widely – in art colleges and at festivals, including the 61st Oberhausen Short Film Festival in May.

A film by William Raban, sound David Cunningham, editor Anna Jurkowiecka, assistant director Begonia Tamarit, executive producer Jonathan Harvey assisted by Arantxa Echarte. 


Still from William Raban's film '72-82' (2014) showing artist Jock McFadyen in his Acme house in the 1970s.

Still from William Raban's film '72-82' (2014) showing artist Jock McFadyen in his Acme house in the 1970s.

Slipcase, digipak and booklet of DVD copy of 72-82

Slipcase, digipak and booklet of DVD copy of 72-82

Related Links

External Links

Back to top...
  • Acme Studios
  • 44 Copperfield Road
  • London
  • E3 4RR
  • T +44 (0)20 8981 6811
  • E
National Housing Federation member | NFASP member | Supported using public funding by Arts Council England

Between 1996 and 2012 Acme received £3.2m of capital funding from Arts Council England which supported the creation of six permanent affordable studios in London: Copperfield Road, Fire Station, Galleria, Harrow Road, Leven Road and Matchmakers Wharf. This resulted in 186 studios and 12 work/live units in four London boroughs.