Bruce Barber

Function (1980)

12 min 9 secSound

"Rehearsal document of part I of Function, a performance in which a man seated in a comfortable armchair, smokes and drinks whisky, while viewing a television image showing a hypnotic view of a railway line in tight perspective. Two other performers (male and female) revolve slowly around a plexiglass revolving door, through which a searchlight is projected on to the walls of the man's living room. After thirty minutes the man falls asleep, the video journey and revolving performance ends. In part II a familiar street musician from downtown Vancouver enters the space playing his accordion. After ten minutes of energetic performing by the busker, the sleeping man awakes, feels around in his pocket for some coins and flips several into the busker's instrument case, signalling the end of the performance. The audience follows suit. As they exit theatre audience members are provided with copies of an essay by Barber titled ''The Function of [performance] in post-modern culture: a critique" subsequently published in Pontbriand, C. (ed) Performance Text(es) and Documents Montreal: Editions Parachute (1980)."

Artist's statement

Other works by Bruce Barber

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which reflect our unique, contemporary
South Pacific context.