Staring down the apocalypse

Junction Festival: The Evolutionary StraitJacket

Selena de Carvalho, The Evolutionary StraitJacket = Climate Change Karaoke

Selena de Carvalho, The Evolutionary StraitJacket = Climate Change Karaoke

One of the centrepieces of Launceston’s 2014 Junction Festival is Selena De Carvalho’s The Evolutionary StraitJacket = Climate Change Karaoke in which the audience enters “a surreal fantasy environment that holds an array of extinct animal costumes. You are invited to…embody an animal and channel the disappearing wild, while belting out karaoke pop songs that are surprisingly rich with tales of evolution.”

The Evolutionary StraitJacket looks like it will be a wild ride, a curiously fun way to contemplate the grim reality of “the inability [of species] to adapt to changing environments, thus facing possible extinction.” Hence the show’s title.

We emailed De Carvalho, asking, “What’s the relationship between the seriousness of your subject and the apparent fun of dressing up and singing karaoke?” She replied: “The Evolutionary StraitJacket hopes to raise questions as opposed to providing answers. By encouraging participation and employing humour as an entry point, the project hopes to encourage the contemplation of a more sustainable future by ‘re-wilding’ through a ridiculous, poetic, neo-ritual as opposed to getting hung up on the apocalyptic tragedy of it all.”

De Carvalho is an up and coming innovator who has enjoyed residencies in Beijing and Tarraleah (Australia) and been mentored by Anna Tregloan in design for live performance and by Raef Sawford in new media. The recipient of the 2013 Arts Tasmania Dombrovskis award, she took up an internship with Melbourne’s Magnificent Revolution, a pop-up pedal-powered cinema collective. Last year she designed Shadow Dreams for Terrapin Puppet Theatre (in partnership with the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra and Tasmanian Palawa Community) in the Ten Days on the Island Festival. RT

2014 Junction Festival, Selena De Carvalho, The Evolutionary StraitJacket = Climate Change Karaoke, Launceston, 4-8 Sept

RealTime issue #122 Aug-Sept 2014 pg. 31

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18 August 2014