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The documentation of performance pieces that become works within themselves, are often referred to as performance based video and sound installation. This work acknowledges a history of traditional theatre and performance art, collapsing both and recreating an experimental video piece. A single performer speaking directly to the camera and walking through city streets and underground walkways at night forms the basis of John Gillies’ video project The Mary Stuart Tapes. Exploring ways to articulate Australia’s colonial fabric the work is a monologue based on Friedrich Schiller’s late 18th century tragedy Maria Stuart, now unfolding within a contemporary Sydney streetscape. The reworking of this classic text originally set in Renaissance England highlights Australia’s inheritance of the British idea of state. The significance of the work The Mary Stuart Tapes is demonstrated by its inclusion in the solo touring show John Gillies: Video Work 1982-2001 exhibited at Performance Space, Sydney, NSW and the Institute of Modern Art, Brisbane, QLD. An abridged version of the work is available on the Australian Video Art Archive, a collection of seminal works by prominent Australia Video artists. The work has been written about in Art Monthly, Realtime Arts, Video Ground.