Putting Out will employ the relationship between reperformance and performance by proxy as a platform for creating a microcosmic set on which particular scenes from the Australian performance art world can be re-enacted. This project is developed (in part) as a critical response to the precedent set by exhibitions such as 2013 Sydney exhibition 13 Rooms, in which a proxy performer is used as a stand in for the ‘real artist’. In reperformances such as these, the performer’s name is not important and is not credited as an artist or collaborator. Putting Out will harness the neutral state of the proxy performer as a vehicle with which to explore issues surrounding identity and place on both a personal and a national scale. The project will map what Australia has ‘put out’ into the world over the past sixty years or so. It will also explore more intimate identities; how much is each participant willing to ‘put out’ for this project? How much of myself can I ‘put out’ on behalf of other peoples practices? These are all issues that will be unpacked through the undertaking of this project.
In a similar vein to Australian artist Agatha Goethe-Snape’s 2009-2011 performance, Every Artist is Remembered, this work offers a snapshot of the contemporary art scene, and explores new ways remembering, visualising, and reactivating our recent history. Through this series of reenactments, an overview of key junctures within Australian history may unfold; as much of art engages with the world around it, this project will also reflect what was happening at the time each of the works was made. Something as simple as the clothes worn, or the colour paint a participant used to paint the wall behind them can reflect cultural trends. I also expect the works of some artists will actively commentate a political history, particularly with the inclusion of well-known socially engaged practices. This project has the potential to map a trajectory of not only the performance art world over the past sixty or so years, but also of key movements and moments within Australian history.