Still Life with Cherries (2018) is a mediated Brave Girl performance. Brave Girl emerged in my practice in 2017 as a consequence of a study of contemporary feminine bravery (beginning in 2015), which became the focus of my PhD research (2016-2019). These works explore what I have theorised as the Feminine Bravery Construct.
In Still Life with Cherries (2018) a white man, dressed in a white singlet (also known as a ‘wife-beater’) and black trousers, spins Brave Girl around in repeated circles, reminiscent of the childhood game pin-the-tail-on-the-donkey. On release however, and seemingly by instruction, instead of pinning a tail, Brave Girl throws juicy or decomposing cherries at the wall of a white gallery space. Brave Girl spins in time with a simulated circus tune, which gets progressively slower and more distorted as she continues to spin and throw. She can be likened to a wind-up toy who gradually loses her ‘oomph’. Finally, Brave Girl is seen stuffing the cherries into her mouth to the accompaniment of The Last Post. Brave Girl’s increasing disorientation in the work is augmented by the blurred-like quality of the camerawork as well as the distorted sound effects. The entire performance is deliberate and yet uncomfortably pointless. The affect is awkward, but also wretched. The work references the stereotype of the sad, tortured clown.
Videography: Wattle Media