Frances Barrett shows us Meatus at ACCA

Frances Barrett, Meatus 2020. Courtesy the artist. Ear worms: Debris Facility. Photograph: Charles Dennington

Frances Barrett’s much-anticipated exhibition Meatus, part of the celebrated series Suspended Moment: The Katthy Cavaliere Fellowship, will open at ACCA on 2 April 2022.

Drawing on her background in performance, curating and collaborative models of making, Frances Barrett has expanded the solo commissioning focus of the Fellowship to present new sonic compositions and live performances by multiple artists. Alongside a major sound installation by Barrett, developed in collaboration with Hayley Forward and Brian Fuata, Barrett has curated specially commissioned sound compositions by artists Nina Buchanan, Del Lumanta and Sione Teumohenga, as well as a series of incursions by Debris Facility Ltd, responding to the concept of Meatus.

A ‘meatus’ is an opening or passage leading to the interior of the body. Encompassing a range of sensations and functions, the plurality of meatus becomes a way for Barrett to explore a practice of listening that decentres the ear to activate the entire body, attuned to both conscious responses and unconscious intensities.

Barrett has conceived of ACCA’s four galleries as an immersive environment of sound and light – a performative staging of the body, which bleeds and leaks, and into which the audience may enter to consider the physical, sensual and critical experience of listening. Meatus foregrounds the affective and relational dynamics of sound and listening to address the attendant and expanded possibilities of the body.

Frances Barrett and Brian Fuata. Photograph: Charles Dennington

Commissioning Curator Annika Kristensen has said “Meatus is a radical reimagining of the art gallery – transforming a space which traditionally presents visual experiences into a theatrical and enveloping environment in which sound becomes the primary object. It’s been a pleasure to work with Frances in her dual role as artist and curator to finally realise this ambitious project, now presented at a time when visitors can once again enjoy the embodied intensities of being within a physical gallery space."

Suspended Moment: The Katthy Cavaliere Fellowship is a suite of unique commissions, originally announced in 2018, to support Australian women artists working at the nexus of performance and installation.

Don't miss out on Frances Barrett: Meatus exhibition before it ends this June!


Date: 2 April – 19 June 2022

Location: Australian Centre for Contemporary Art - 111 Sturt Street, Southbank VIC 3006

Opening Hours: Tuesday – Friday 10am–5pm, Weekends 11am–5pm

Cost: Entry free

ACCA Website

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