• Artist
    Jill Orr
  • Title
    The sleep of reason produces monsters - Goya
  • Date of Production
    2002
  • Medium
    DVD video
  • Dimensions
  • Credit Details
    Jill Orr in collaboration with Steve Bell, sound, and Pete Brownstein, video

Jill Orr - The sleep of reason produces monsters - Goya


Thursday, November 17, 2011 - Sunday, January 01, 2012, 5:00 PM - 9:00 AM

Project Window - Lydiard Street
Admission: Free


Jill Orr is an iconic Australian performance artist who uses imagery to draw parallels with and allude to political, social and personal discourses. The sleep of reason produces monsters - Goya is both a documentation and extension of Orr's 2002 performance at Artspace in Sydney. The title of her work was drawn from a late 18th century etching by Spanish artist Francisco Goya. In the post-9/11 world, Goya's title resonated with Orr and she used it as a starting point to inform her performance.

Orr's performance was a cathartic response to the horrific events of September 11 and Australia's subsequent participation in the 'War on Terror'. The audience was presented with emotional and sensory extremes. A tonne of meaty, bloody animal bones dumped into the performance space became a playground of abject horrors. Orr, the sole performer, maniacally slipped between roles, transforming into butcher and surgeon, killed and killer, human and animal. She performed grotesque procedures, creating a scene of tormented carcass effigies suggestive of both human and animal origins. These ugly sculptural bodies served as a metaphor for, and reminder of, the realities of war.

In the video work Orr's movements are delayed and repeated; ghosts of movement dance alongside and create a complex and multi-layered moving image. Sound acts a device to draw the viewer past the barrier of the screen and into the intensity of the original performance.