2017 | Single Channel HD Video | 13’39’’
Diana Baker Smith and Kelly Doley
Videography and Video Editing: Kate Blackmore
Sound and Original Music: Andrew McLellan
In this work Diana Baker Smith and Kelly Doley delve into the erotically charged archives of the Australian artist Pat Larter. While best known as the ‘muse’ to her husband, Larter was also one of the leading figures in the international mail art movement, and created an extensive number of performances, films and photographs from the 1970s up until her death in 1996. Through a performative film essay, Baker Smith and Doley reactivate Larter’s work in the archive and on the screen. They move between the physical space of the Pat Larter Archive at the Art Gallery of NSW and the recording studio, where they read out a series of letters to the late artist and to each other. These gestures are intercut with excerpts from Larter’s films (made in collaboration with Dick Larter) as well as images from her performances and mail art. As Baker Smith and Doley search through Larter’s extensive archive, they contemplate the difficulties associated with revisiting ephemeral art practices and the gender politics that structure art history.