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Journal ISSN



Volume Title


Total Art Journal



Peer reviewed



This work in four parts offers the practice of Bartram O’Neill, a collaborative partnership between an art- ist (Angela Bartram), and an artist/writer (Mary O'Neill), as an alternative creative strategy to the binaries of theory and practice, academic and artistic, event and text. To borrow and extend Wallace Bacon’s shore metaphor from his canonical publication, “The Dangerous Shore: From Elocution to Interpreta- tion” (1960), this essay in four documents represents an amphibious practice in which different stages of its life cycle require different media.1 The four parts are: a score written during the performance Oral/Response that forms part of the event; images of the collaborative performance of the same title at Greestone Gallery, Lincoln (2011); a prose piece written in response to the performance; and questions and answers that discuss the concerns of the artists and the collaborative relationship. Each mode has in- formed the others and is a response to different sites. A gallery, an academic journal, an artist’s statement – these are all “sites” not only defined by a physical location, but they consist of dynamic ensembles that also include the artists’ bodies, the anticipated audience, any objects being used, and the atmosphere. Ba- con categorized the relationship between the text and the performance as a negotiation between polarized opposites using the metaphor of travelling through waterways. This negotiation exists in the territory where the distinction between land and sea is blurred, the alluvial plains where rather than prioritizing one form over another, each manifestation generates potential for further responses. The result is an on- going work.



Performance, collaboration, alternative creative strategy, Praxis


Bartram A. and O'Neill, M. (2012) Response Oral/Response. Total Art Journal, 1 (2)


Research Institute

Institute of Art and Design