Keith Piper's ACC70 Commission Premieres in Liverpool

20 March 2023

Unearthing the Banker's Bones, a new Arts Council Collection-commissioned multimedia work by Keith Piper will premiere as part of the artist’s solo show of the same name at Liverpool’s Bluecoat Gallery, 28 October – 22 January 2017.

One of eight works commissioned as part of the Arts Council Collection’s 70th Anniversary, Piper’s three channel video installation imagines the excavation and dissection of modern life as if we were decades into the future.

This narrative device – looking back on the present from the eyes of our descendants – is used by science fiction writers to analyse contemporary events with the distance that history gives us. While weaving his own narrative of social and economic collapse, Piper draws on extracts of apocalyptic fiction by Octavia Butler and Mary Shelley, amongst other sources.

The three synchronised videos employ visual montage to play with ideas of real and imagined landscape and are accompanied by physical objects; items such as the ledgers belonging to the bankers of the title act as ‘physical evidence’ of their existence. These two elements - filmic and sculptural - play off one another, coming together to build a cohesive, unfolding narrative.

Unearthing the Banker’s Bones is a 70th anniversary commission for the Arts Council Collection with Bluecoat and Iniva.  




The Arts Council Collection is the UK's most widely seen collection of modern and contemporary art.

With more than 8,000 works by over 2,000 artists, it can be seen in exhibitions and public displays across the country and beyond. This website offers unprecedented access to the Collection, and information about each work can be found on this site.