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realtime’s advance word

Mavin Khoo, Devi in Absolution

Mavin Khoo, Devi in Absolution

Mavin Khoo, Devi in Absolution

parramasala

Artistic Director Philip Rolfe says this year’s Parramasala festival (October 30-November 6) will be “bigger and more diverse than the inaugural festival last year. We have some of the world’s most renowned international artists presenting a number of Australian exclusives right in the heart of the city of Parramatta…You have the chance to enjoy the cultural richness of a region of the world that is becoming more important to us and our futures. What you experience is also indicative of the transforming nature of Australia and the embracing of more diversity. The arts on show at Parramasala are as important to modern Australia as those from our Anglo-Celtic and European heritages” (Media Release).

The central city precinct around Town Hall and St John’s Cathedral Square and the Riverside Theatres precinct will be focal points for the festival, featuring a free outdoor stage, daily Masala markets (performances among bustling food stalls). Works will appear in a variety of performance, film and exhibition venues. The festival includes the six-day South-Asian Film in Focus, a program of independent film (“beyond the glitzy world of Bollywood”) including free documentaries at lunchtime, premiere features in the evening and a retrospective of the work of master filmmaker Satyajit Ray. In fact, film is a common theme of this year’s festival with many of the live productions having screen components. Mother India 21st Century Remix by English company Kala Phool sees the three-hour classic edited to 45 minutes and re-scored with a live band featuring UK turntablist DJ Tigerstyle. In another event entitled Cinema, Karsh Kale “mixes Indian classical and folk with electronica, rock, pop and ambient music—the sound that helped define the club phenomenon of the late 90s dubbed Asian Massive.” Local multimedia group CuriousWorks has been commissioned to create The Other Journey: Leaving Lanka and Becoming A Battler to be presented on the Parramatta River. “Based on stories of recent Sri Lankan refugees, audiences are taken on a moving journey with large-scale outdoor projections, a boat tour and Eastern and Western influenced music, relayed to personal headsets via individual mp3 players.”

As you’d expect in a festival celebrating this region, there’s a fabulous selection of music and dance including percussionist Trilok Gurtu and his band performing in a concert with the young sitar virtuoso Niladri Kumar and David Hykes and the Harmonic Choir performing in St John’s Cathedral and also joining Dr Madan Gopal Singh and Chaar Yaar for a concert combining harmonic sufi and qawwali music. The Chandralekha Group from Chennai will be a highlight of the dance program. “Challenging traditional notions of classical dance in India, Sharira combines contemporary dance with yoga practice, traditional Keralan marital arts and live Dhrupad song and music performed by the world famous Gundecha Brothers, in a stunning, intimate production.” For the many more pleasures to be had see www.parramasala.com. Parramasala, Parramatta. Sydney Oct 30-Nov 6

fiona mcgregor’s water series

“When I see a tap running, unattended, unused, I feel like I am watching someone bleed.” Fiona McGregor’s Water Series is a set of durational performances presented both live and via photography and video. “The works are all generated through the artist’s response to the fundamental substance of water, in a time of environmental strife. This response is in part predicated on proximity—an emotional attachment to the ocean as a coastal dweller. More crucially it is generated by issues surrounding scarcity and usage of fresh water in Australia—especially the issue of salinity—deepened by McGregor’s recent visit to Lake Eyre, across the outback, along the Murray River. An awareness of water as the main component of the human body is consistent across the series, particularly apparent in the endurance elements of the works as the artist enacts extended encounters between water and the body: the body struck by water; the body marked by water; the body consuming liquidity; the body expelling liquidity” (Media Release). Immediately following Water Series, Artspace will present the work of six artists/artist collectives whose practice utilises or examines performance and live action; Nothing Like Performance will feature the work of Matthew Bradley, Lauren Brincat, Brown Council, Paul Donald, Will French and Yiorgos Zafiriou. Fiona McGregor, Water Series, Nov 1-20; Nothing Like Performance, Artspace, Sydney Nov 25-Dec 22, www.artspace.org.au

performance space: exchange

Performance Space ends the year with Exchange, a season of five intriguing works that tackle considerable ethical and aesthetic issues by expanding our notions of interactivity, installation and reconciliation. To comment on our compulsive consumerism, Theatre Kantanka, with contemporary music collective Ensemble Offspring, offer a “toxic nightmare in all the colours of the rainbow”, Bargain Garden, “an immersive, multi-sensory performance installation, inspired by the thousands of bargain stores and two-dollar shops that multiply across our cities” (Nov 1-5). In Return to Sender, Paul Gazolla and Jeff Khan have curated a challenging dance program with an impressive range of artists (Alison Currie, Nadia Cusimano, Matthew Day, Atlanta Eke, Jane McKernan, Latai Taumoepeau, Tony Yap and Yumi Umiumare) devising “works that recreate the choreography, score, or essence of an international peer’s work.” Media artists Michele Barker and Anna Munster’s new interactive artwork Hokus Pokus (Nov 3-26), “examines illusionistic and performative aspects of magic to explore human perception, senses and movement” within the framework of 19th century magic, early cinema and traveling science shows.” Helen Pynor and Peta Clancy’s installation, The Body is a Big Place (Nov 3-26), “explores the fluidity of boundaries between bodies, specifically questions arising from the processes and practices of organ transplantation surgery, and research into the complex phenomenological responses reported by organ transplant recipients.”

My Darling Patricia (see page review of Africa) in collaboration with Indigenous artists from Moogahlin Performing Arts will present their much anticipated Posts in the Paddock (Nov 9-19), a performance and installation drawing on the fact that 111 years ago relatives of company member Clare Britton were murdered in the Hunter Valley by the Aboriginal Bushranger, Jimmy Governor (the subject of Tom Kenneally’s novel, The Chant of Jimmie Blacksmith and Fred Schepisi’s film). The artists offer the work as “an intimate and ultimately very personal work of reconciliation.” Performance Space, CarriageWorks, Sydney, www.performancespace.com.au

OH, Yong-Seok, cross, single channel, 5 min, 2002

OH, Yong-Seok, cross, single channel, 5 min, 2002

gold coast art gallery: korean re-imaginings of the city

Following the impressive Now and When exhibition (RT103), Gold Coast City Art Gallery is hosting an exhibition from the Seoul Museum of Art presented as part of the Korea-Australia Year of Friendship in response to Australia: Digital Urban Portraits. Drawn primarily from the SeMA collection, in this exhibition artists consider urban space as not materialistically composed of buildings, but inseparable from the environment, continually accumulating historic events. The artists in the exhibition imaginatively transform the urban environment. Korea-Australia Exchange Exhibition: Re-imagining the City, Contemporary Korean Media Art about Cities and Change, Gold Coast City Art Gallery, Nov 5-Dec 11, www.theartscentregc.com.au/art-gallery/coming-soon.php

RealTime issue #105 Oct-Nov 2011 pg. 48

© RealTime ; for permission to reproduce apply to realtime@realtimearts.net

11 October 2011