Call for Proposals: ‘The Open Body’

This is a one-day performance art event timed to coincide with the Inner West Open Studio Trail on Sunday 18th March, 2018. The event is curated by Tom Isaacs and hosted by Scratch Art Space, Marrickville with support from the Inner West Council. We seek proposals for live performance works, including short pieces and long-durational performances (up to 6 hours).

Deadline for proposals: 

5pm, Monday 8th January, 2018.

Your proposal should include:

  • An outline of what you intend to do (Max 500 words)
  • Materials you are considering using
  • CV (Max one page)

Email the above as a word doc to

Curatorial Brief:

In performance art, the body of the performer is often, though not always, exposed to the audience, open to their view. The body is usually visible, or otherwise sensible, to the audience, though exposure of the body may be a process. The body may appear (or reappear) from hiding or it may be exposed through the removal of clothing. In some extreme cases the body’s outer layer, its skin, may even be peeled back revealing the interior; the body is opened up by a wound. The interior of the body can also be made visible through technological means, such as through X-rays, CAT Scans or an endoscopic camera.

Openness also implies the possibility of direct and honest communication between the performer and the audience. Some performers and critics have argued that performance art is a medium which provides unrestricted access to the body and/or subjectivity of the artist through their presence. This view is contested by the American theorist, Amelia Jones in her monograph Body Art: Performing the Subject. Rather than providing unrestricted access to the body made visible in performance, ‘The Open Body’ aims to present the body/subject in process, unresolved and unfinished. As Jones puts it:

Body art, through its very performativity and its unveiling of the body of the artist, surfaces the insufficiency and incoherence of the body/self (or the body-as-subject) and its inability to deliver itself fully (whether to the subject-in-performance herself or himself or to the one who engages with this body).

What ‘The Open Body’ will provide:

  • An artist’s fee on the presentation of an invoice (amount TBC)
  • Free performance space
  • Documentation of the performance
  • Online publicity through Scratch Art Space, the Inner West Open Studio Trail and base-metal performance art facebook page and newsletter

What the artist must provide:

  • A performance
  • All materials for their performance
  • Publicity via the artists’ personal networks


‘The Open Body’ is supported by the Inner West Council through their Arts and Culture Grant.