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Remembrance & Forgetting. English psychoanalyst Adam Phillips, writing about Oscar Wilde in his book Unforbidden Pleasures (2015), notes that "great art, in Wilde's view...enables us to forget ourselves, our rational, conforming, intelligible, law-abiding, too-timid, explaining selves, and this forgetting makes things possible." Within a constellation of works ('great' or not) in an arts festival, we can even more intensely lose ourselves to reverie, joy, passion and bewilderment. Phillips extrapolates: "What we don't know, what we haven't understood, can be the realest thing about us." A good festival demands such openness. But it can also enact remembrance, of what we have forgotten or will forget or never knew, as Wesley Enoch looks to do with his 2017 Sydney Festival, celebrating the 1967 Referendum (which acknowledged the humanity of the Indigenous peoples of Australia), cultural continuity (in the lives of Tasmania’s muttonbirders; image above, Trevor Jamieson in The Season), and with sadness, the art of Myuran Sukumaran.

Keith & Virginia

Sydney Festival
Sydney Festival
SYDNEY FESTIVAL: A GREAT SENSE OF OCCASION              Wesley Enoch’s first festival for the city has tremendous breadth but, at its core, in-depth engagement with the senses, Indigeneity and innovative art-making. Enoch tells Keith Gallasch about his vision, its aesthetics inseparable from its politics.
Sydney Festival Guide
SYDNEY FESTIVAL: A PERSONAL GUIDE           Keith Gallasch digs through memories, rumours, reviews and video links to select the shows he's attracted to. Some of them will have escaped your attention. Some will take you out of your comfort zone. It's what a good arts festival should do.
MEMORY MADE MUSIC      In Chamber Made Opera's Permission to Speak, composer Kate Neal and director Tamara Saulwick score interviewees' childhood recollections of their parents. Andrew Fuhrmann finds that "while there's much that is sad or poignant in the remembered stories, the overall feeling is of airiness and giddy relief."
Speak Percussion
LIGHT MADE SOUND MADE LIGHT        With its purpose-built instruments used as lights and lights as instruments, Speak Percussion takes Madeline Roycroft into a world of transformation, featuring complex playing and ecstatic interaction.
Tree of Codes
Liza Lim's fantastical new opera, Tree of Codes, is populated with strange beings and inflected with the chirping and warbling of bellbirds and magpies. See rehearsals for the Cologne Opera production and hear Lim talk about the work's sources.
Director Katrina Sedgwick’s revisioning of the Australian Centre for the Moving Image boldly embraces its role as a museum, offering expanded audience, industry and artist engagement, and a new position, Chief eXperience Officer.
Matthew Day
But precisely what kind of work, asks Andrew Fuhrmann of dancer-choreographer Matthew Day’s Assemblage #1, a seeming laboratory in which the artist manipulates materials and space in search of a new mode of expression.

RealTime E-dttions are published by Open City an Incorporated Association in New South Wales. Open City Inc is supported by the Australian Government through the Australia Council, its arts funding body, and by the Visual Arts and Craft Strategy [VACS], an initiative of the Australian, State and Territory Governments. RealTime’s Principal Technology Partner is the national communications carrier, Vertel.

Opinions published in RealTime are not necessarily those of the Editorial Team or the Publisher. 

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