|Gianni Plazzi, Sul concetto di volto nel figlio di Dio (On the Concept of the Face of God), Socìetas Raffaello Sanzio|
photo Klaus Lefebvre
fundamentals of free speech
Following recent attempts by fundamentalist elements of the Hindu community to censor the presentation of Back to Back’s Ganesh Versus the Third Reich in the Melbourne International Arts Festival, comes an attempt by far-right fundamentalist Catholics to shut down Socìetas Raffaello Sanzio's Sul concetto di volto nel figlio di Dio (On the Concept of the Face of God), directed by Romeo Castellucci at the Théâtre de la Ville in Paris. As reported in CultureBot, the performance centres on a man caring for his dying father with a visceral depiction of bodily incontinence. At one point the son cleans up the shit-smeared floor in front of a projection of Christ by Renaissance painter Antonello de Messina. After losing a legal battle for an injunction on the grounds of anti-religious discrimination, the group calling itself the Alliance Against Racism and for the Respect of French and Christian Identity (thought to be connected to the Civitas Institute responsible for an April attack on Andres Serrano’s Piss Christ), has protested at the theatre, throwing stink bombs, engine oil and eggs onto queuing audiences and interrupting performances.
The theatre has issued a statement condemning the protests, stating “these behaviours are clear manifestations of fanaticism, that enemy of enlightenment and freedom against which, in glorious times, France has so successfully fought” (cited in Jeremy. M. Barker, Culturebot Far-Right Activists Try to Shut Down Theater Production in Paris, Oct 27). It has also issued a manifesto “Le Théâtre contre le Fanatisme” (“Theatre against fanaticism,” in French only), signed by notable French and international artists. A spokesperson for the French Catholic Church has also condemned the protests but calls for “free speech that respects the sacred.” The irony is that the work of Romeo Castellucci arguably creates theatre that is deeply religious and sacred, rethinking and recreating these concepts for contemporary contexts. Castellucci told Le Monde, the play is “in no way blasphemous or Christianophobe…but these activists can’t know that because they haven’t seen it.” (His statement, in French can be found here). It’s another example in a disturbing trend of knee jerk fundamentalist protest in which the work is not approached in context and in which interpretive, contextual and analytic thinking are overruled by dogma. (Key sources CultureBot; RFI; The Guardian)
good, clean fun
Multimedia performance group PIPS:Lab started ten years ago, growing out of the underground party scene in Amsterdam. According to their manifesto “a PIPS:lab project must always include multiple art forms, the audience must be involved using interactive techniques, fiction and reality are mashed up, the footage is always recorded live, high tec (sic) is made low brow, all elements of a show or installation (like wires, cables and screens) are visible on stage” (website). In November they will be bringing their high-energy theatre of the absurd to Australia, presenting The Washing Powder Conspiracy at Serial Space in Sydney and also at the Awesome International Arts Festival in Perth.
PIPS:Lab have extensively toured Europe with works such a Wortal Combat 3, an interactive game show where the audience assists the heroes to win the love of Lara Croft (chosen from the viewers each night) and including a larger-than-life version of the computer game Pong. They have also created the Lumisol concept in which participants, live on video paint with light to create an installation or a performance with leading graffiti artists. The Washing Powder Conspiracy focuses on live video editing and music made from non-conventional instruments like irons, washing machines and laundry baskets and “casually flirts with themes like democracy, capitalism, commercials and war” (website). Australian artist Fred Rodrigues, creator of the SMS Interactive Music System (S.I.M.S) (reviewed here) and the Heavy Metal Work Orchestra in which power tools improvise with musicians has been working with PIPS:Lab for the last year. PIPS:Lab, The Washing Powder Conspiracy, Serial Space, Sydney, Nov 11-12, free workshops Nov 13-14, http://serialspace.org; Awesome Arts, PICA Perth, Nov 21-27 http://www.awesomearts.com/festival; http://www.pipslab.org
|Shiver, Danielle Micich|
photo Ashley de Prazer
In South Australia, Restless Dance Theatre is presenting Debut 3—the dancers direct, in which three company dancers choreograph their own works. Working with the theme "the butterfly effect" the choreographers, Andrew Pandos, Jianna Georgiou and Lorcan Hopper, will be mentored by guest artists to develop their works. This is the third incarnation of Debut, with previous editions proving very popular, so booking is recommended. Restless Dance Theatre, Debut 3¬—the dancers direct, The Restless Studio, 234a Sturt St, Adelaide, Nov 11-12; http://restlessdance.org
|Greg Fryer, Uncle Jack Charles (seated) and Melodie Reynolds, Coranderrk: We Will Show the Country, Ilbijerri/The Minutes of Evidence Project/La Mama|
photo Steven Rhall
|Flash Women, Juliette Knox in her Uluru dress, 2010, designer Yaneira Velasquez|
photo Sam Walker
on the move
The Australia Council is undertaking an extensive consultation process in order to develop a framework for national touring. Consultants Rick Heath and Harley Stumm will be heading around the country over the next few months to gather feedback from artists and companies. The initiative aims to both map the current touring landscape and develop access to pathways and information, and also look to the future of touring in Australia. Consultation dates: Victoria, Nov 9, 10, Tasmania Nov 11, Darwin Nov 22, Adelaide Nov 24, 25; Cairns Dec 2; Brisbane Dec 5, 6; Sydney Dec 7, 8; Perth Dec 12; APAM workshop Adelaide Feb 27; Long Paddock Albury Wadonga April 3, 4. Register your interest to receive updates & further information with Katie Harford, Program Officer Market Development, email firstname.lastname@example.org; or phone 02 9215 9041.
RealTime issue #105 Oct-Nov 2011 pg. web
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