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Performing the Archive –



PERFORMING THE ARCHIVE is a living, embodied archive of Australian performance art. Participants are entrusted to carry the history of these works into the future. The project actively values Australia’s millennia-long tradition of oral history, and seeks to address this country’s profound lack of archives for artists by honouring the lineages of practice that are deeply scored into landscape of experimental performance and art.



PERFORMING THE ARCHIVE invites the most named artists from the public process of MAPPING (see project page on this site) to name 20 moments from their practice, and to select an image from their personal archives to represent each chosen project / process.


In one-on-one encounters, participants are invited to select one image, and sit with the corresponding artist to hear the history and detail of this work as they remember it. The artist will then sign the image and offer this piece of art to the participant. Each participant will be asked to display this image in their home, office, or other public place; when asked about the artwork, they can retell the history and detail of the work, as told to them.


The first edition of this new work was created as part of the Retrospective exhibition ARCHIVING THE EPHEMERAL and was presented alongside the full documents and film work created for MAPPING.



Image Cards – Brian Gilkes / Pharoseditions

Project Attendants – Laura Hartnell + Nao Hirata

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Photography by Sofie Dieu and Craig R. Reasons

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