Frances Barrett, Kate Blackmore, Kelly Doley and Diana Smith form the longstanding performance art collective, Brown Council. The group's latest work, This is Barbara Cleveland, showing at Performance Space has seen the group investigate a ‘forgotten’ and ‘legendary’ Australian performance artist.
Cleveland was one of the first Australian performance artists to mix feminist ideas in the early 1970s, and the circumstances surrounding her death are a little mysterious. Some do question the truth in her existence at all. Cleveland’s life and work will be investigated by the group with documentary videos, staged lectures and recreations of her performance pieces, all apparently discovered in a recently unearthed and previously unseen archive.
Regardless of the subject’s perhaps fictitious status, the project gives the Brown Council an opportunity to explore the group’s relationship to the people who came before them. Re-enacting previously performed works is one method of acknowledging influences while examining change.
Brown Council’s This is Barbara Cleveland is showing for the 10th anniversary of Performance Space from November 20 to December 1, 2013.