DrBrownieRapidPulseAnna Brown is a Chicago-based performance artist with an extensive background in collaborative work. Her early practice was as one third of the cabaret art trio Somebody’s Daughters. Later she contributed to the TranceSisters Collective and the Chicago Poetry Ensemble. Currently, she is most interested in creating intimate, durational pieces in which she interacts with viewers one-on-one, inviting the audience to be her collaborators. Anna holds an MFA in performance and an MA in art history, theory, and criticism from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.

She performs in the persona of Dr. Brownie—a self-proclaimed expert in the art of existence—who invites visitors to join her in intimate conversation and creative investigation. The works in this series address themes of truth-telling, self-authority, and the nature of intimacy.

Dr. Brownie first appeared in Chicago in the Rapid Pulse Festival at Defibrillator Gallery, 2014. There she presented I Can Explain Everything, a durational work that took place in display windows facing the street. Surrounded by piles of outdated reference books, Dr. Brownie made herself available to converse one-on-one with participants seeking answers to the questions in their lives. Following these conversations, each participant would retire to the opposite window, where they would create a drawing based on their interaction.

Dr. Brownie’s second event, It’s Really Quite Simple, took place at CAM in Seattle, 2015, again in a window looking out to the street. Participants filled out a questionnaire that collected childhood remembrances, then sat across a table from Dr. B, who led them in the use of a Spirograph as well as in an inquiry into the connections between their adult selves and the child selves they had left behind.

Documentation from both of these performances can be seen at: http://www.annabrown.org.