2016 | Live Performance, Installation and 2 Channell HD Video | 5'
Concept and Direction: Diana Baker Smith, Frances Barrett, Kate Blackmore and Kelly Doley
Videography: Dominick Kirkwood
Video Editing: Kate Blackmore
Signage: Kelly Doley
Set Construction: Daniel Hollier
Production: Bev Shroot
Invited participants: Amy Ireland, Anne Marsh, Sunday School, Eugene Choi, Francesca da Rimini, Mike Parr, Richard Bell, Salote Tawale with Get to Work, and Virginia Barratt.
Making History is the third in a series of works exploring the life and legacy of the mythic performance artist Barbara Cleveland. Taking Cleveland’s 1970s sketches of theatre sets as a starting point, the artist’s created an architectural framework to consider the legacy of performance and live art histories in Australia. This took the form of an installation of set pieces, theatrical structures, and video installations, which operated as both a performance space and an evolving archive of performance.
Working with a range of invited guests, the artists reactivated Cleveland’s original designs through a discursive program of performances, lectures, re-enactments and discussions in the gallery over a 3-month period. Some of the participants chose to revisit the work of Cleveland, while others used re-enactment to re-visit their own work, or the work of other artists that have been marginalised throughout art history. Through these various approaches to archival material, the artists examined how alternative historiographical approaches and embodied practices can be used to reimagine past acts and events in the here-and-now.
The program included the following presentations by the invited participants:
Eugene Choi, This Moment (2016)
Anne Marsh, Archives, Performance Art and Feminism/s in Australia (2016)
Richard Bell, Making History (2016)
Mike Parr, Barbara Cleveland Eats and Apple (2016)
Salote Tawale with Get to Work, Making History (2016)
Amy Ireland, Virginia Barratt, Francesca da Rimini, B.A.B.S, (2016)
Sunday School (Kelly Doley and Diana Smith), In Search of Pat Larter (2016)
This project was commissioned for the 20th Biennale of Sydney The future is already here – it’s just not evenly distributed and was supported by the Australia Council for the Arts.
Images by Jessica Maurer and courtesy of the artists.