Australian Video Art Archive

Barbara Campbell


Cries from the Tower

00:08:46 1992, 1995

In each siting of this work Campbell positioned herself well above the audience – as a remote figure in time and space. The physical focus of the work (to the point of fetishisation) was the skirt made from a sixty metre length of ribbon onto which Campbell had hand-embroidered in three languages a letter attributed to Mary Queen of Scots used to implicate her in the murder of her second husband. The embroidered text could be read in electronic close-up through monitors dispersed amongst the audience with a live feed from a video camera near Campbell as she slowly unwound the ribbon. Mina Kanaridis sang the soprano section of William Byrd’s Mass for Four Parts live on each occasion.

ABC Ultimo Centre, Sydney for Third International Symposium on Electronic Arts - TISEA (1992); The Tower, Queen’s College, the University of Melbourne for Experimenta (1992); National Gallery of Australia, Canberra for Canberra National Sculpture Forum (1995)

DVD available