This is Barbara Cleveland

This is Barbara Cleveland (2013)
Barbara Cleveland (Frances Barrett, Kate Blackmore, Kelly Doley, Diana Smith)
Single Channel HD Video, 16:9, PAL, Sound
Dur: 16’42



Concept, Direction and Performance: Barbara Cleveland (Frances Barrett, Kate Blackmore, Kelly Doley, Diana Smith)
Original Score: Lucy Phelan
Video Editing: Kate Blackmore
Sound & Video: Elliot Hughes


This is Barbara Cleveland is the second in a series of works exploring the life and legacy of the mythic performance artist Barbara Cleveland. During a brief period from the late 1970s to the early 1980s, Cleveland is said to have produced a series of provocative, implicitly feminist performances before disappearing under mysterious circumstances.

This is Barbara Cleveland takes as its starting point Cleveland’s 1980 performance ­– A lecture on Everything and Nothing. The artists re-enact this text and re-stage a series of 1970s performances, as well as reflecting on Cleveland’s position in Australian art history. Here Cleveland’s story becomes a way to explore a series of broader themes: the legacies of ephemeral art and feminist histories, the complex status of the performance trace, and questions of authorship and authenticity.

This work was commissioned for Performance Space’s You’re History at CarriageWorks in Sydney (2013) and supported by the Australia Council for the Arts.