Brave Girl Accusers (2021)

Brave Girl Accusers was made with the kind assistance of the Queensland State Archives facilities. It is a mediated Brave Girl performance work.

Brave Girl Accusers continues my Karike exploration of the Feminine Bravery Construct through my performative persona, Brave Girl. Brave Girl is inspired by cosplay and comic strip characters and is clad in mock super-hero battle costume. When Brave Girl performs, she does so as an exaggerated embodiment of what it means to be an empowered brave woman in the neoliberal context.

The conceptual starting point for this work was my research into the celebrity subject, Rose McGowan. McGowan was instrumental in exposing Harvey Weinstein as a sexual predator of the worst kind. McGowan’s revelations that she was raped by Weinstein in 1997 were first published in The New Yorker in late 2017. Following this, she published her autobiography titled Brave in early 2018 where she goes into detail about the rape. To better understand the expectations of feminine bravery in the contemporary context, Dr Ashworth’s research into McGowan explores how, in her public interview appearances between January 2018 and March 2019, McGowan is expected to live up to—and defend—her self-described brave label. The interviews reveal the public’s obsession with the visibility of ideal, brave, postfeminist woman-types; and vis-à-vis their objection to (and fear of) her other. McGowan’s eventual, obligatory public containment has been an attempt to control—even extinguish—her revolutionary potency.

Brave Girl Accusers is a parody of an amalgamation of these interviews.