We acknowledge the Gadigal of the Eora Nation, the traditional custodians of the Country on which the Art Gallery of NSW stands.


Cartesian Corpse, performance for as long as possible, 21-22 November 2008



Mike Parr


1945 –

No image
  • Details

    Media categories
    Time-based art , Performance
    Materials used
    single channel digital video, colour, sound
    duration: 33:31:36 hr continuous, aspect ratio: 16:9
    Gift of the artist 2011. Donated through the Australian Government's Cultural Gifts Program
    Not on display
    Accession number
    © Mike Parr
    Artist information
    Mike Parr

    Works in the collection


  • About

    This film recorded the duration performance that accompanied 'Mike Parr: The Tilted Stage' exhibition curated by Anthony Bond at Hobart TMAG in 2008. The performance consisted of Parr sitting with his head appearing on a tilted dais apparently disembodied. The duration was in effect 30 hours. Anthony Bond was present for the duration as a scribe sitting adjacent to the stage on a white chair handwriting notes on the temporal experience hour by hour one page per hour. Facsimiles of these 30 pages open the catalogue that was published with the exhibition. A video camera recorded the whole performance from a fixed position that focussed in on the head and this was played back in real time during the performance at the other end of the space from the wedge or tilted stage. The film includes edited moments from the full 30 hours performance and a special section filmed after Mike announced the end of the performance.

    At the close of the installation a brief period of hectic filming took place with Gotaro Uematsu operating the camera assisted by Paul Green. The camera was wheeled rapidly from end to end of the room between the live head and the video of it at the other end of the room. Gotaro held the camera and was pushed in an old wheel chair across the very rough old floorboards. The resulting film is therefore wildly jerky and erratic which is what Parr wanted. The carefully edited material constitutes a work in its own right.

    Parr may well be remembered principally for his performances and the films that documented them. He has collaborated with excellent film makers over the years including John Delacour, Paul Green and Gotaro Uematsu but lately he has also worked very closely on the structure of the imagery which has been set up for the creation of a film as art from the outset. Parr does all his own editing which is often a radical intervention into the material so that they become primary art works not documentation. It is probably these that will ensure the longevity of his performance work which is at the heart of all his practice including the works on paper.

  • Bibliography

    Referenced in 1 publication

Other works by Mike Parr

See all 79 works