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Darrio aka Manifest, Kon aka J.Manifest, Yasim aka J.Krucial, Omar aka Scrappy, ACTIVATE 2750, Ash Keating

Darrio aka Manifest, Kon aka J.Manifest, Yasim aka J.Krucial, Omar aka Scrappy, ACTIVATE 2750, Ash Keating

Darrio aka Manifest, Kon aka J.Manifest, Yasim aka J.Krucial, Omar aka Scrappy, ACTIVATE 2750, Ash Keating

samson & delilah wins camera d’or

Warwick Thorton’s Samson & Delilah, featured on the cover and in interview and review in RealTime 90 (pp 23, 24), has won the Camera d’Or at the 2009 Cannes Film Festival for Best Debut Feature Film. The film was programmed in the Official Selection and shown in Un Certain Regard—a category for “films that express a personal vision, with an emphasis on special cultural expression and cinematic innovation.” The film is currently screening in Australian cinemas and will be shown later this year on ABC TV.

kronos quartet plays jon rose

The American string quartet, Kronos, have collaborated with Australian violinist and composer Jon Rose (RT90, p48) on Music From 4 Fences, a work commissioned by the Sydney Opera House and premiered June 5. Rose has played fences around the world for decades and, more recently, with partner Hollis Taylor has sounded them across Australia (as documented in Taylor’s book, RT82, p40). After hearing Rose’s Rabbit-Proof Fence, Kronos leader David Harrington came to Sydney to meet the composer. A work for barbed wire fence (with its connotations of brutal containment of land, animals and humans) is the result.

heart library: st vincent’s hospital

George Khut researches the use of biofeedback “for re-imagining how we think of, and experience ourselves in relation to our bodies.” After its successful showing at Campbelltown Arts Centre as part of the 2008 Mirror States media arts exhibition, Khut’s The Heart Library Project will make its first appearance in a hospital, Sydney’s St Vincent’s, where it will be open to patients, staff and the public. In 2008, Keith Gallasch wrote, “The Heart Library goes much further [than previous Khut works] in transforming states of being into artistic mirrorings and with greater audience-as-co-maker participation. The visitor retires to a gently darkened space, stretches out on a cushioned platform, holds a sensor in each hand and encounters themself, life-sized, on a screen above. The pace of the heartbeat yields a flow of snow or blossom-like drift over the body and changes in colour and sound. For some participants the variation is subtle, for others relatively dramatic in intensity. On leaving the space, you enter another hung with full-scale drawings by other participants reflecting what they’d just experienced. A number are distinctive artworks and all are revealing about where people see their bodies, centred or off-balance, wounded, anxious or enjoyed” (RT87, p34).

As part of this Australia Council supported research project and in collaboration with dLux Media Arts, Khut reports that “he will also be collaborating with clinical psychologist Steven Albert and youth arts-health worker Emma Watkins of Urban Arts Base to explore the potential of this work as a vehicle for promoting mental health awareness to young people negotiating issues such as anxiety, panic attacks and depression.” The Heart Library Project at St Vincent’s, An Interactive Art Project by George Khut, Level 4, Xavier Ward, St. Vincent’s Public Hospital, Darlinghurst, Sydney, July 6-19, www.georgekhut.com

emerge festival

Multicultural Arts Victoria’s Emerge Festival will be a potent reminder, and news for many, of the dramatically changing Australian multicultural landscape, not least with its large contribution from immigrant African artists. Emerge is a celebration of Victoria’s many undiscovered refugee cultures and includes a much warranted focus on the plight of the Burmese people. The festival commemorates the United Nations World Refugee Day and celebrates Refugee Week in Australia with a series of concerts and events around Melbourne, June 16-July 26.

The festival commences with a five-hour Fitzroy Town Hall concert featuring many African artists alongside Australian Indigenous and Maori performers. The town hall event includes an Ethiopian coffee ceremony, a wide range of cuisines, workshops in and displays of Pacific Island body percussion, African drumming, belly dancing, henna tattooing, hairbraiding and concert performances from African communities from across the continent: Guinea, Sierra Leone, Burundi, Sudan, Ethiopia, Tanzania, Congo, Zimbabwe and Ethiopia. Other events in Emerge embrace cultures from Afghanistan and India to Turkey and Japan. www.multiculturalarts.com.au/events2009/emerge.shtml

it’s a jungle out there

Martin del Amo sees the city as a rich source of choreographic material. His new work will premiere at Campbelltown Art Centre, June 24-27. Titled It’s a jungle out there, it will “physicalise Sydney’s labyrinthine, many-faceted nature, distilling the complexity of the urban experience into a multi-layered performative fabric made of dance, story telling and electronic sound design.”

Len Lye on the set of Fountain of Hope, 1959

Len Lye on the set of Fountain of Hope, 1959

Len Lye on the set of Fountain of Hope, 1959

len lye retrospective, acmi

For lovers of experimental cinema who live outside of Melbourne, it’s time to invest in a bargain airfare and head to the Australian Centre for the Moving Image for a remarkable world premiere, a major retrospective of the work of Len Lye. One of the great, innovative artists of the cinema, New Zealander and cosmopole, experimental filmmaker, poet, painter, kinetic sculptor and theorist Len Lye (1901-1980), is being celebrated at ACMI in collaboration with the Govett-Brewster Art Gallery (New Plymouth, NZ). As well as major creations, the retrospective will include, says ACMI, “art works and materials never exhibited before—ranging from early sketches, paintings and batiks, through to his photographic work, animation and documentary films, and extraordinary motorised kinetic sculptures.” Lye worked in New Zealand, Sydney, Samoa, London (where her exhibited paintings in the 1936 International Surrealist Exhibition) and moved to New York in the 1950s. He pioneered the still hugely influential technique of ‘direct filmmaking’—painting, drawing, animating and stenciling directly onto celluloid. In RealTime 92 (Aug-Sept), Brisbane co-director of the Otherfilm Film Festival, Danni Zuvela, will review the exhibition and interview its ACMI co-curator Alessio Cavallaro (working with Tyler Cann, Curator of the Len Lye Collection and Archives). Len Lye—An Artist in Perpetual Motion, ACMI Screen Gallery, admission free, ACMI, Federation Square, Melbourne, July 16-Oct 11, www.acmi.net.au

ash keating’s activate 2750

Images from Melbourne artist Ash Keating’s ACTIVATE 2750, a work created earlier this year as a C3West project in Penrith, 50 km west of Sydney, postcode 2750, in association with SITA Environmental Solutions, will be shown at Breenspace in Sydney in June-July. Keating was invited by the MCA as part of C3west (with Penrith Performing & Visual Arts; Campbelltown Arts Centre and Casula Powerhouse) to work with SITA to create a new work. Keating decided to engage with key public places and “areas of consumption” in the city. As he reports in his blog, “It would involve me physically intercepting and manipulating material waste destined for burial at the SITA landfill in Kemps Creek. Activate 2750 would be the culmination of a series of waste interventions I had actioned over the course of a year starting with 2020? in May 2008, followed by Label Land in August, working in Korea on an Asialink residency with ten first year art students intercepting fabric label waste and manipulating it into costumes which we later paraded around Seoul in a series of public actions.”

Since 2002, Keating had worked for his late mother’s waste audit and consultancy company, travelling “Australia wide, as a visual auditor assessing the amount of commercial and industrial waste sent to landfill. This experience opened my eyes to the disregard that industry in general has for sustainability…” Keating salvaged 52 square metres of waste material to create “an apocalyptic zoological habitat. As well, shopping trolleys were manipulated into eccentric movable waste machines by the local artists and art students who were all encouraged to…push them, in a series of performative processions” along the highway, the city’s shopping strip and into Westfield Plaza. “Another part of Activate 2750 involved dance performances by Darrio Phillips and his Krumping students.” Activate 2750, writes Keating, “highlighted the disposal of commercial and industrial waste, by redirecting it into the public realm.” Ash Keating, ACTIVATE 2750, Breenspace, Sydney, www.breenspace.com; http://activate-2750.blogspot.com


RealTime staff have been busier than usual in 2009 with the publication of Experimental Music: Audio Explorations in Australia (UNSW Press), edited by Gail Priest, who was also one of the participating artists in a recent Artspace show, Between Site and Space, that came out of a 2008 residency with Tokyo Wonder Site. Priest has been working on the sound design for Karen Therese’s performance work, Riot Act, which has premiered at Campbelltown Arts Centre, and Martin del Amo’s It’s a jungle out there, at the same venue. Keith Gallasch and Virginia Baxter led a reviewing team at Dance Massive in Melbourne in March and, in May, travelled to Adelaide for Artlink’s symposium, Changing Climates, on the future of arts magazines (Artlink will be placing the papers online). In April, Keith ran a review-writing workshop in Cairns as part of the Induce program for artists, and will return in July for more workshopping at the On Edge Festival. He recently returned from Korea where he was guest of the Chuncheon International Mime Festival (see RT92 for a report on this distinctive event).

RealTime issue #91 June-July 2009 pg. 13

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

1 June 2009