anne marsh

© 2020 Professor Anne Marsh, All Rights Reserved.

Professor Anne Marsh

Featured Papers

Since 1990 Anne has published widely in edited books, refereed journals and art magazines in Australia, and has written numerous exhibition catalogue essays for artists as well as regularly reviewing artist’s exhibitions in newspapers and art journals. Her essays have been cited in the fields of art history, visual culture, performance studies, theatre studies, and film and video studies.

Browse papers by Professor Anne Marsh


Know My Name: Australian Women Artists 1900 to Now: An Historical Context
This Article first appeared in Artlink, April 2021.

Know My Name opened during COVID-19 in the wake of the effective #MeToo movement inspired by the testimony of Chanel Miller, in which she began: “You don’t know me, but you’ve been inside me...” In court, Miller was anonymously known as Emily Doe. Her book and the movement she inspired asked women to tell their stories and to speak their name

Image: Justene Williams, Two Fold, 2016 (performance still) Image Andy Nowell


Art and feminism: Generations and practice
This Article first appeared in Artlink, Positioning Feminism, Vol. 37, No. 4, 2017, pp. 8-21.

The state of the art world and of feminism in the twenty-first century ushers in different ways of doing political activism, cultural work and theory. The intergenerational aspects of feminism and how this has been enacted in the visual arts in recent years represents a refreshing change from earlier perceptions of waves of feminist theory that tended to privilege the new.

Image: Deborah Kelly, Big Butch Billboard, In Homage to Maria Kozic, 2009, mobile billboard. © Deborah Louise Kelly/Licensed by Viscopy, 2017


This Article first appeared in Art+Australia, 2016.

I have always been convinced that Australians don’t take their own art as seriously as they do art from elsewhere, from older, more established cultures and civilisations, the Greeks, Romans, Europeans and, more recently, North Americans. These are the cultures that appear to count more in this country, most notably in our education sector where art history itself is embattled and Australian art history and theory rarely offered on the mainstream syllabus. We acknowledge and respect these other cultures, neglecting our own and our region: our place.

Image: Jill Orr, Antipodean Epic, Performance (detail), Mildura Palimpsest Biennale #10, 2015. Photo - Christina Simons



Mike Parr: Performance, Ontology, Revolt
in Elspeth Pitt and Roger Butler (eds.), Mike Parr: Language and Chaos, National Gallery of Australia, Canberra, 2016, pp. 70-83.
in Synne Genzmer and Lucas Gehrmann (eds), Mike Parr: Edelweiss, Kunsthalle Wien/Verlag für Moderne Kunst Nürnberg, pp. 180-192, 2012.

First premise: For over two decades art criticism celebrated second-degree representation as the new cool. From the ‘anything goes’ decade of the 1980s to the conceptual remakes of the 2000s the incubator of the art world has remained clean, preserving the white cube of the modernist museum.

Image: Mike Parr ‘IX. Self Circle of Wheat with Chickens’, in Rules and Displacement Activities Part III 1977–83, film still



Body-Time: Rethinking the Radical Edge in Video Performance by Australian Women Artists
This article first appeared in Senses of Cinema, December 2016.

In this paper I want to look at a few case studies from recent Australian performance art, to examine the ways in which video performance is being presented and to look at several genres inside the medium.

Image: Catherine Bell, Felt is the Past Tense of Feel, 2006, performance still. Two channel video projection. Courtesy of the artist and Sutton Gallery. © The Artist. Photograph Christian Capuro.



MP Strikes Heart of a Nation
Originally published as Mike Parr: Foreign Looking, Artlink, September 2016.

Mike Parr: Foreign Looking strikes deep at the heart of the nation. Here, surrounded by parliament and government bureaucracies that have fashioned our detention centres and offshore processing procedures, the artist installs himself and a vast collection of his work in the National Gallery of Australia. Black holes, anuses, and id spaces collide with the psychosis of a nation that now boasts one of the most appalling human rights reputations ever-imagined in a Western democracy.[1] In this context the exhibition begins with the opening night performance, Jackson Pollock the Female.

Image: Mike Parr, Jackson Pollock the Female, performance, 11 August 2016. National Gallery of Australia, Canberra. Photo: Zan Wimberley

Performance Art, Photography


Marina Abramović: Mindful Immateriality
This article first appeared in Artlink, Vol. 33, No. 3, September 2015, pp. 18-23.

At the Museum of Old and New Art (MONA) in Hobart Marina Abramović’s long awaited exhibition Private Archaeology (13 June–5 October 2015) showcases video documentation of her early works alongside more recent projects.It is not a retrospective as such but charts the theme of consciousness, its expansion and contraction, in the artist’s work. Most people are familiar with the Abramović legend. Her early works involving pain and duration were quickly canonised into the history of the avant-garde then her 2005 exhibition 7 Easy Pieces (Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum) and the 2010 retrospective at the Museum of Modern Art in New York, which included her performance The Artist is Present, repositioned her as a formidable player in the current debates around performance art, its theory and criticism.



Photo/Video Language and the Feminine In Selected Works by Eugenia Raskopoulos
This article first appeared in Australian and New Zealand Journal of Art, 15:2, 2015, pp. 182-194.

The experience of being outside of the language of the social sphere whilst simultaneously being inside the familial language has long haunted and inspired the work of Greek-Australian artist Eugenia Raskopoulos.

Image: Eugenia Raskopoulos, Turn on the Tongue (still), 2000, video, sound, 5:07 minutes, courtesy the artist and Arc One Gallery, Melbourne & William Wright Artists Projects, Sydney

Digitisation, Photography


A Digital Menace
This article first appeared in Photofile, no. 91, 2010, pp 52-57.

Rosalind Krauss has termed the current era the ‘the post-medium age’ where the boundaries between disciplines is so blurred that the aesthetic qualities of the medium have been annihilated.1



Ritual in Performance Art - An Australian Context
Originally published as Performance Art, Ritual and Shamanism, in Makarand Paranjape (ed.), Sacred Australia: Post-Secular Considerations, Melbourne: Clouds of Magellan Press, 2009, pp. 271-285.

I imagine grace / though I’m not / versed in scriptures / I hear you
calling out names / one after another / saint or sinner / disciple
one way or another . . .1



Politics and Poetics: The Medium as a Ghost
in Hilde Van Gelder and Helen Westgeest (eds.), Photography between Poetry and Politics: The Critical Position of the Photographic Medium in Contemporary Art, Leuven UP, 2008, 99. 19-34.

In the late 1990s scholars in the USA warned against the convergence of art and theory where practice appears to pitch itself to critical discourse or seeks to engage in that discourse.1 Rosalind Krauss has termed the current era the “the post-medium age in which the aesthetic option of the medium has been declared outmoded, cashiered, washed-up, finished”.2 For Rosalind Krauss and Hal Foster much of postmodern art was either a continuation of critical modernism and/or the critical edge of postmodern practice (pastiche, irony, appropriation) was quickly absorbed by the capitalist market which acclaimed the plurality of postmodernism as part of a liberal platform.3

Image: Peter Kennedy, installation view of A Language of the Dead, 1997-1998, from Requiem for Ghosts, Blue neon light mounted on freestanding timber panel. 3120 x 6460 x 300 mm. Photo: K. Pleban.

Performance Art


The Performance Art Document: A Contextualized Study
Originally published as Performance Art and its Documentation: A Photo/Video Essay, in About Performance, Still/ Moving: Photography and Live Performance, Sydney: Department of Performance Studies, University of Sydney, No. 8. 2008, pp. 15-29.

In this paper I consider recent critical positions on performance art and its documentation. The experience of a live event.  Jill Orr’s She had long golden hair (1980)  is then used as a case study to explore the debates. I was present at the performance and I have subsequently tried to reconstruct this experience for students and the art public with the aid of photographs and video. My purpose here is to think through the issues concerning the document of the event, the event itself and the re-make for the camera. I have asked Jill Orr to respond to my interpretation and to the issues concerning documentation. In this way I hope to generate a paper that is both critical and reflective.

Image: Jill Orr, She had long golden hair, Adelaide Festival of Arts, Experimental Art Foundation, 1980. Photograph: Elizabeth Campbell.


A Surrealist Impulse In Contemporary Australian Photography
This article first appeared in the AHRB Research Centre for Studies in Surrealism and its Legacies, no. 6, 2007,
University of Essex and University of Manchester, on-line journal.

Pat Brassington's photographs began to receive critical attention in the 1980s when photographic theory and criticism was experiencing a renaissance. Her work spoke loudly in a postmodern culture that deconstructed notions of the original and authenticity, interrogated the epistemology of the gaze and the stereotypes of feminine sexuality....

Image: Pat Brassington, In my Mother's House, 1994, four silver gelatin prints 52 x 142cm (overall dimensions). Courtesy the artist and Stills Gallery, Sydney, Arc One Gallery, Melbourne and Criterion Gallery Hobart.



Art History in a Post Medium Age
This article first appeared in Artlink, vol 26, no. 1, March 2006, pp. 41-45

In the year 2000 Bernard Smith published two articles in Art Monthly, In Defence of Art History (I and II), which raised important issues that had been brewing within the discipline for decades. These essays put forward a strong case to preserve the tradition of art history and to resist the push to subsume the discipline within cultural studies.



A Photographic Virus in Contemporary Art
Presented at Biennale of Sydney, Public Program, August 8, 2004. 1 hour paper.

Walter Benjamin's thesis 'The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction' originally published in 1936 was an important modernist text which was cited throughout the postmodern era and continues to be referred to by critics who are analysing the end of postmodernism (Krauss 1999a).



Bad Futures: Performing The Obsolete Body
This article first appeared inContinuum, Electronic Arts in Australia, ed. Nicholas Zurbrugg vol. 8, no. 1, August 1994, pp. 280-292.

The end of this century is before us like an empty beach.1 The grand picture of the bad future unfolds.2 Boundary riders of the cosmos inscribe imperialistic lines of force across the universe and biocompatible technology colonizes the body's surface and interior. Before us is the impinging doom of a society of surveillance, monitored and controlled electronically and biologically; the prospects of a society without subjectivity; an inhuman world populated by robots and cyborgs. Another image of the future pictures a catastrophic end which leaves a fiery damnation on earth and sees man revert to an animalistic state. Many of these representations duplicate the major paradigms of the present. Fears about social disintegration are fed by 'bad future' representations set after the apocalypse.