Sdtrk: ‘Heroin face’ by The cure
During a recent conversation with Miz Laslocky, she pointed out that one of the aspects she got from my relationship with Sidore-chan was almost that of a performance art piece. We both agreed that there’s very little enjoyable performance art out there, unless we’re talking about ‘Sprockets‘, of course. I mentioned that her perception of that isn’t too wide off the mark, but it’s definitely a by-product, and not something that I’d set out to do.
However, once she’d mentioned that, my mind almost immediately turned to London-based performance/multimedia artists Jemima Brown & Dolly Brown. I’d read a brief article mentioning them in an issue of The Face years ago, and sequestered them in my mental filing cabinet, for reasons that will quickly become apparent.. It took about three years to find any decent sort of info on either of them, but, once again, threatening Google with a blackjack poised over its head, I found their website.
left, Jemima Brown; right, Dolly Brown
For the last decade Brown has been joined by her inanimate double, a life sized doll simply titled ‘Dolly’. Modelled upon Brown’s features, and often wearing the same clothes, Dolly is an uneasy and mute collaborator: a guardian spirit or questioning shadow? For all this she is very present, hanging out in the gallery, posing for photo-shoots or propped on the family sofa.
Plus, there’s a fab little interview with Jemima, the more vocal half of the duo, here.
SPEAK: Has spending so much time together made you closer to Dolly?
Jemima: I think in a way I have become closer to her. It’s been a real test for our relationship. It’s put a strain on, and changed the relationship in some way. It’s made me want to have her become totally dependent on me. She’s getting away from me too much when I share her. I’m reluctant to let her take on a life of her own, although that’s one of the things I set out to do when I was making her. The process of defining my relationship to her has made me so protective of her that I don’t want her to have her own life. I’m frightened for her that she won’t be able to cope. I’m not worried that she’s going to upstage me, as she does that anyway.
Earlier video installation works consist of Jemima and Dolly seated in chairs, with Jemima unsuccessfully trying to imitate Dolly’s inanimateness. Other projects feature the pair being tourists out-of-doors, buying postcards and having their photos taken near various landmarks. And if you check anything the twins have produced, it’s always credited to Jemima and Dolly Brown. I happen to think that’s really ace
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