Barbara Cleveland

This is Barbara Cleveland

2013
Single Channel HD Video
16’42”

Written & Directed by Brown Council
Original Score by Lucy Phelan
Sound & Video by Elliot Hughes

Barbara Cleveland was an Australian performance artist working predominantly in Sydney in the 1970s and up until her untimely death in 1981. Despite her significant output of work, Cleveland remains largely unknown in the history of Australian art and the canon of performance art internationally.

This is Barbara Cleveland is the latest installment in Brown Council’s ongoing project that pays tribute to the life and work of Cleveland. In this work the four members of Brown Council re-perform a series of lectures given by Cleveland shortly before her death in 1981. These lectures are meditations on performance, history and memory, and through their re-performance, Brown Council give voice to this mythic feminist artist who has been left out of the pages of Australian art history.

Through honouring the life and work of Cleveland, Brown Council seek to question who is written in and out of art history, and how narratives are constructed and re-presented.