Barbara Cleveland Thinking Business
Opening 17 July 2021
Thinking Business is an exhibition by Barbara Cleveland that explores forms of female friendship, collaboration and artistic labour. The project takes its title from Hannah Arendt’s description of her friendship with Mary McCarthy. As Arendt wrote, “it’s not that we think so much alike, but that we do this thinking-business for and with each other.” This idea of an intellectual and creative connection between women is at the centre of this project, which focuses on the 15-year-long working relationship between the members of Barbara Cleveland.
Presenting five video works spanning ten years of the collaborative’s prolific career, each work contributes to a fascinating study of humour, absurdity and feminist practices. Thinking Business highlights the performative aspect of Barbara Cleveland’s work which brings endurance, labour and time to the exhibition, with great impact.
With the rise of neoliberalism and the acceleration towards individualism and precarity, this project turns towards the collective and the collaborative to consider alternative support structures and other ways of thinking and working together.
Thinking Business is a carefully curated survey of Barbara Cleveland’s work and its presentation in Goulburn was their inaugural solo exhibition at a public gallery in Australia.
A Goulburn Regional Art Gallery exhibition toured by Museums & Galleries of NSW. This project has been assisted by the Australian Government through the Australia Council for the Arts, its arts funding and advisory body.
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