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Video Tapes at Inhibodress

23 November 1971 7 December 1971

Over two evenings in late 1971, Mike Parr and Peter Kennedy presented 80 minutes of video tapes they had made over the previous months. These were recordings of performances of "art by instruction" in which the artist went about performing a task that may have put them under extreme pressure or may have put the audience under duress. The recordings were originally made and presented with an Akai 1/4" b&w video portapak which did not produce particuyalry good results. Later in 1972 Parr and Kennedy felt that they needed to improve the recordings and make further wrks. They borrowed a 1/2" b&w portapak but this too did not produce good results, so they got together with Aggie Read and Ian Stocks from Ubu Films and recorded many of the performces again using 16mm film. This became the film Idea Demonstrations.

The programme for the exhibition Video Tapes by Peter Kennedy and Mike Parr shows seven works by Parr and eight by Kennedy. Six of Parr’s videos were from the Self-Circles series of performances included in 150 Programs and Investigations, while Kennedy’s pieces “investigate ways in which ‘sound’ can inscribe the body, … camera and the microphone function as metaphors for the body.”1

The works in the programme were:

by Mike Parr :

Pushing a Video Camera over a Hill’ (10min)
Self-Circles on Sand' - No.1 . . Performed by Mike Parr (8min.)

Bubble Work’ - Part 1 & 2 . . Performed by Mike Parr (3min.)
Self-Circle’ - No.1 - Mirror Definition. Performed by Mike Parr (4min.)
To Comprehend Reality One Must Surround It’ . . Performed by Mike Parr (4min.)
Self-Circles on Sand' - No.2. . . Performed by Mike Parr (3min. 30secs.)
Self-Circle' - No.2. (Time Isolation). Performed by Mike Parr (4min)

by Peter Kennedy :

Parrot’ - Performed by Barbara Hall & Peter Kennedy (5min.)
Indefinition Transference’ - No.1. Performed by Peter Kennedy (8min.)
Corner Feedback Situation’ – Performed by Barbara Hall
Indefinition Transference’ - No.2. Performed by Peter Kennedy (2min.)

Tension’ - No.1 & 2. - Performed by Peter Kennedy (3min.)
Interludes’ - 2min. Contemplation of a T.V Screen with music accomp.
Two Body Concerts’ - Part 1&2. Performed by Peter Kennedy & Barbara Hall.
For Silence do not take Chances’ - Negation of two sound sources by David Ahern and Peter Kennedy (2 min.)

Video equipment was loaned by Akai.

  • 1. Cramer, Inhibodress 1970-1972, p.15. The two sentences are in reverse order from the original text.
Other works 

Susan Owens, “Mike and Peter feel they have art taped” Sunday Telegraph Magazine, 28 November 1971. n.p. Notes the claim of the first exhibition of videotapes in a gallery in Australia.

Laurie Thomas, “Today we shall gaze into a blank screen”, The Australian, 31 November 1971, n.p. Slightly scathing review of Parr and Kennedy’s video performance works.

Robert Drewe, “Exhibition in videotape”, The Australian, 23 November 1971, n.p.

The programme for the Inhibodress Video Nights showings. (1971)
The programme for the Inhibodress Video Nights showings. (1971)