A. Frances Johnson lectures in Creative Writing at the University of Melbourne. Her art has been exhibited in Australia and overseas, and her novel Eugene’s Falls retraced the so-called wilderness journeys of colonial painter Eugene von Guerard. Her poetry has appeared in many journals and anthologies including The Best Australian Poems for 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2013, and she has published two poetry collections, The Pallbearer’s Garden and The Wind-up Birdman of Moorabool Street, the latter winning the 2012 Michel Wesley Wright Prize. In 2015, she received the Griffith University Josephine Ulrick Poetry Prize. A new collection of poetry, Rendition, will be published by Puncher and Wattmann in 2016. She is currently completing an interdisciplinary, postcolonial novel/exhibition project, The Lost Garden, based on field trips to first-contact sites in Southern Tasmania. An academic monograph, Archival salvage: the Australian postcolonial novel is forthcoming (Rodopi 2015).


Collaborative Authorship

Experimental performance after 'The Scream of Nature'


This essay considers the case study of a recent Marina Abramović perfomance, The Scream, and discusses how notions of communal collaboration exist alongside the idea of the individual author. Notions of cultural authorship across the twentieth century are used as frameworks for understanding how Abramović’s creative process and its communally enacted public outcomes are instantiations of 20th century theoretical and philosophical inheritances circulating around the creative ownership of ideas, histories of avant-gardism and ideas of collaborative process. While this essay reflects on collaboration achieved via teams of creators, it also shows how intertextual engagement in itself may be thought of as a radical, political mode of cultural ‘teamwork’. Abramović duly carries out an ekphrastic intertextual raid upon modernist painting, collaborating with Edvard Munch and his image, and then with other performers, to create a new public artwork.