Michaela Gleave

Doing Time/Time Doing

28-30 November 2014

48 hour endurance performance executed in former police detention cell: clocks, CCTV cameras, video monitors, live web feed, camping equipment and supplies

Installation view: The Lock-up, Newcastle.  Photography: Jamieson Moore


For the duration of the exhibition Enduring Parallels, curated by Lottie Consalvo and Ineke Dane, artist Michaela Gleave remained contained within one of the cells of the former police holding facility, The Lock-up, in Newcastle, Australia.  Two identical clocks served as a record of the event: one located in the gallery keeping external time using a battery; the other, seen only via CCTV, manually advanced by the artist according to her sense of minutes passing within the cell. Consistent with the periods of incarceration experienced during the building’s operation as a detention facility (1861-1985) Doing Time/Time Doing responded to space and time in extremis, prisons being places where the experience of space is compressed to a minimum and duration expanded to a maximum; the aporia of time slowly unravelling into an eternally persistent present.  For the duration of the performance the artist did not leave the cell and no one came in.  She had access to a single camp bed, toilet facility and basic food and water for the 48-hour period, with no method of keeping time beyond that experienced by her mind.  A performance accessible only via documentation, the artist’s actions were monitored for the duration of the exhibition by surveillance technology.  

The performance ended with the artist 48 minutes ahead of external time.