Street Level w/ With Kelly Doley from Brown Council
From Thursday November 11 – Sunday November 14, Performance Space are taking over CarriageWorks with Liveworks – a festival of performance and installations by over 20 groups and artists, including local heroes Diana Smith, Kelly Doley, Kate Blackmore, and Frances Barrett – aka Brown Council.
How did Brown Council form?
We met in 2005 through the COFA Drama Club, which was twelve or so kids trying out performance ideas at clubs and pubs. When it eventually disbanded, the four of us were left and we decided to continue working together. Kate and Di studied Time Based Art, Fran completed her Honours in Performance and Art Theory and I am doing my Masters in Painting. Together we each bring a well-rounded portfolio to the Council chambers.
What are your typical inspirations?
It always starts with a conversation. Often we begin by making lists of things we like (or hate) or brainstorming around a particular theme. Primarily, works come out of personal experience, or something we want to talk about collectively.
Tell us about A Comedy!
Primarily inspired by offensive stand-up comedians and the genius of Andy Kaufman, A Comedy prods around at the thresholds of how far we will go for a laugh, and what we are willing to inflict on others. Since Nextwave, A Comedy has developed from a one-hour number to a four-hour endurance spectacle where comedic genres are performed non-stop by all of us. Expect endless cream pies, tomato throwing, bad stand-up, dancing monkeys, shit, giggles, pity and laughter. It is a great night out. Actually, take a date – you’ll have a riot.
Who are your collaborators for this piece?
Alia Parker did the costumes; Fred Rodrigues did the sound and sourced amazing, clichéd comedy sound effects that feature heavily in the show, like farts and whistles. Julie Ann Long, a Sydney dance/performance-maker who deals with the grotesque and the ugly in playful ways, was our outside eye on the process. Adelaide-based director Daisy Brown was our dramaturg.
And what about A Portrait…?
A Portrait of Brown Council by Brown Council involves Brown Council sitting around a table in ‘work’ coveralls, talking to each other about the experience of performing A Comedy, how it went, what could be improved, as well as fielding questions from the crowd. People often wonder how collaborative groups work. By placing our collaborative practice on display, A Portrait acts as a type of ‘performance demonstration’ of an art practice that is based on conversation, shared ideas and friendship.
What have been some of the formative experiences for BC?
Completing a two-month residency in the back blocks of Beijing in 40-degree heat, with three single beds and one ‘bedroom’ (labelled ‘The Palace’) was definitely formative. Then there was Tibet, where we witnessed awe-inspiring pit toilets, vultures dropping human scalps from the sky, and hospitalising altitude sickness. It was like extreme corporate bonding for artists. The four of us are undeniably stuck together like glue now.
What: A Comedy / A Portrait of Brown Council…
When: Fri Nov 12 (6pm, 7pm, 8pm & 9pm) / Sat Nov 13 (2-6pm)
Where: CarriageWorks, Eveleigh