Disclosed A performance in three cells
Written and directed by Caitlin Richardson
7th August- 8th August 2014
In 1849, the Separate Prison at the Port Arthur commenced operation. Under the “Separate System”, prisoners were kept completely isolated and speech was forbidden. The prison was designed to reform the colony’s most rebellious convicts, but all prisoners at Port Arthur spent time there, with some detained for several years. During its operation, the Separate Prison stood as an architectural and social innovation. It was the model for a modern prison system based on surveillance, self-control and non-violent practices. It wasn’t until later that its devastating psychological effects were fully realised.
Trapped between whitewashed walls, prisoners’ only place to go was within themselves. Disclosed opens the doors to convicts’ personal worlds- small and square, but housing infinite dreams. A violin is played, a baby is held, a wife is lost. These are the stories that do not appear in prison records. Told with despair and humour, horror and tenderness, Disclosed is about imagined acts of escape in a place of extreme deprivation. It is about the places we all go to connect with humanity and ultimately, to survive.