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Scott Shepherd, GATZ, Elevator Repair Service Scott Shepherd, GATZ, Elevator Repair Service
photo Chris Beirens

elevator repair service, gatz

You enjoyed the plethora of theatrical epics in this year’s Sydney Festival and you’re a fan of Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby. Or you’ve never read it but would love to have it read aloud to you, word for word. Then GATZ is for you: a seven-hour show that’s travelled the world since 2006 from New York’s Elevator Repair Service innovatively tackling the very nature of reading and performance. Adventures, Sydney Opera House, May 15-31;

My Darling Patricia, Night Garden My Darling Patricia, Night Garden
photo Jeff Busby
peformance space: my darling patricia’s night garden

Following the success of the award-winning Politely Savage, the long awaited Night Garden from My Darling Patricia looms (see photo page 2). This work furthers the company’s exploration of gothic Australia, distinctively fusing performance, puppetry, video and installation—here the skeleton of a burned-out house. The Australia-Japan photomedia collaboration, Trace Elements, is also on show until March 21. And in May, There Goes the Neighborhood, curated by Zanny Begg and Keg de Souza, explores the politics of urban space. Meanwhile performer Rosie Dennis’ highly anticipated new show Fraudulent Behavior premieres in June. Performance Space, Night Garden, CarriageWorks, March 6-14;

Yayoi Kusama, Walking on the Sea of Death, 1981 Yayoi Kusama, Walking on the Sea of Death, 1981
courtesy the artist, Victoria Miro Gallery, London and Ota Fine Arts, Tokyo
mca: yayoi kusama: mirrored years

You won’t see stars, but spots will certainly appear before your eyes when you enter the immersive worlds of Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama (see page 3). Single works have been exhibited previously in Australia but here is an exhibition on the grand scale: film, performance documentation, sculpture, installation work and painting, including 50 recent print works. A unique vision, a transformative experience. Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney, Feb 24-June 7;

malthouse/arena: goodbye vaudeville charlie mudd

Some of the most innovative theatre of recent years (The Black Swan of Trespass, The Eisteddfod) has come from Melbourne’s Stuck Pigs Squealing underpinned by the collaboration of director Chris Kohn and writer Lally Katz. Kohn is now artistic director of Arena Theatre, but the creative relationship with Katz persists in a Malthouse-Arena co-production, Goodbye Vaudeville Charlie Mudd. With Kohn’s keen eye for the languages of theatre this show resurrects the vaudeville world of 1913 Melbourne but through the prism of Katz’s surreal imaginings. Malthouse, March 6-28,;

clocked out: the wide alley

The dynamic Brisbane-based duo of composer-pianist Erik Griswold and percussionist Vanessa Tomlinson have an extensive 2009 program taking them to Sydney, Auckland, remote Queensland and Canberra. In March at Sydney Opera House’s The Studio and then at the Auckland Festival they will fuse traditional music from the street and opera of China’s Sichuan Province with their own avant-garde creations. Aural excitement is guaranteed in a Clocked Out gig. The Studio, Sydney Opera House, March 1, 5pm,

stc: martin crimp’s country

Looking well ahead to late June, here’s one for the diary: Benedict Andrews’ production of The City by leading English playwright Martin Crimp (Attempts On Her Life, The Country). Those who saw Andrews’ engrossing production of Marius von Mayenburg’s Eldorado for Malthouse in 2006, will recognise what has doubtless attracted the director: everyday suburban life goes doggedly if bizarrely on while a ‘secret war’ rages. In the meantime STC’s offering a welcome revival of Tom Stoppard’s Travesties in March and two visiting Kafka shows in April: Kafka’s Monkey (from his Report to the Academy) performed by the UK’s Kathryn Hunter, and an Icelandic physical theatre rendition of Metamorphosis (p3, p16). STC, The City, June 29-Aug 9,

casula powerhouse: nam bang!

Thirty four years after the Vietnam War, Casula Powerhouse is mounting a major show of works by 25 artists from Australia, Vietnam and beyond that reflect imaginatively on the experiences of those involved and their descendants. Artistic director Nicholas Tsoutas aptly asks, “When does war become art?” An international conference, with prominent arts writer and activist Lucy Lippard as keynote speaker, will take place April 17-18. Casula Powerhouse, Sydney, April 4 –June 21;

sound travellers 2009 and free cd

Now in its second year, Sound Travellers has a substantial touring program of sound art, improvised jazz and contemporary classical music.You can see the program on the organisation’s website and while there request a free CD of a collection of works by the touring artists—including Topology, Ross Bolleter (a featured artist in Ten Days on the Island), Pivot, Joel Stern, Ensemble Offspring, Mark Isaacs, Camilla Hannan, Klumpes Ahmad and more.

double take: ann landa award 2009

You may well do a double take when you see the list of artists competing for the 2009 Ann Landa Award for Video & New Media Arts: Cao Fei (People’s Republic of China), Gabriella Mangano & Silvana Mangano (Australia), Phil Collins (UK), TV Moore (Australia), Lisa Reihana (New Zealand) and Mari Velonaki (Australia). Yes, the award’s gone international. The mix of video, interactive robotics and digital photography will inherently tackle the big question, “How can we be both the self, and an other at the same time; both a self, and an out-of-body split self?” Art Gallery of New South Wales, May 7-July 19,

the chauvel cinema does expanded cinema

As part of its Cinematheque program, Sydney’s Chauvel is showing an expanded cinema program “devoted to (mostly) Australian experimental art films that use multiple projectors.” The program includes Paul Sharit’s twin screen, looping Razor Blades (US,1968), John Dunkley’s pattern-play Rotunda, Dirk de Bruyn Experiments (1982), a veritable catalogue of techniques and “a scream from suburbia”; Arthur and Corinne Cantrill’s The City (1970), “a composite view of the city is created by three films screened simultaneously”; and from the same filmmakers, Meteor Crater—Gosse Bluff (1978). Also coming up at the Chauvel on March 6 is a rare opportunity to see two recent films by popular, award-winning Czech filmmaker David Ondricek. Chauvel Cinema, Paddington, Sydney, Feb 23, 6.30pm;

blacktown arts centre: blind as you see it

We haven’t seen their work yet, but the emerging Shh Company are tackling a challenging subject with their director and composer Michal Imielski. Blind As You See It fuses puppetry, theatre, music and dance in an exploration of the experience of losing one’s sight. Blacktown Arts Centre, Sydney, Feb 27-28;

syncretism: lawrence english + no anchor

Brisbane’s No Anchor experimental duo “creates an utterly engulfing wall of sound” while Lawrence English generates immersive sound fields with material from his album, Colour for Autumn. With a guest appearance from Heinz Riegler. Judith Wright Centre, March 21;

Fleur Elise Noble’s filmic-theatre production 2-Dimensional Life of Her Fleur Elise Noble’s filmic-theatre production 2-Dimensional Life of Her
come out: 2-dimensional life of her

One of the many intriguing hybrid performances in the 2009 Come Out Festival is young Adelaide artist Fleur Elise Noble’s 2-Dimensional Life of Her (see photograph on page 2). An earlier version won the Best in Show award in the 2008 Brisbane Festival’s Under the Radar program. The work involves three projectors, animation, drawing and an audience immersed in paper, and will have an accompanying drawing installation at the Experimental Art Foundation. Come Out 2009, Adelaide, May 18-30;

griffin theatre company: ross mueller’s concussion

In a co-production with STC, Griffin is staging Ross Mueller’s Concussion, an edgy comedy about a man who wakes up without a memory. Melbourne’s Mueller, like Tasmania’s Tom Holloway, is a distinctive and relatively new voice in Australian theatre. In the meantime, don’t miss Ranters’ Holiday at The Stables (it closes Feb 28)—a potent example of the strange paths opening up in contemporary theatre. Griffin Theatre Company, Concussion, Wharf 2, Sydney, March 17-April 4;

song company: tenebrae iii

An annual highlight has been the Song Company’s Good Friday event, a powerful fusion of song and dance, directed in the past by Kate Champion at Sydney Town Hall (2005, 2006), this time by Shaun Parker in the vast industrial spaces of CarriageWorks. Tenebrae III is based on Gesualdo’s Responsories for Holy Week, sublime music evoking the spiritual extremes of belief. And you don’t have to be Christian to appreciate the emotional power of Tenebrae III. CarriageWorks, Sydney, April 8, 10;

Metamorphosis, Vesturport Theatre Metamorphosis, Vesturport Theatre
photo Eddi
10 days on the island

This unique across-the-island biennial event draws on its own and other island cultures to entertain and challenge us. It’s a wonderfully intimate live-in festival. In 2009 the festival includes a significant Indigenous dance program in Launceston and innovative performances all over, including two hot shows from Iceland. See page 16 for Carl Nilsson-Polias’ interview with Ten Days director Elizabeth Walsh. Ten Days on the Island, Tasmania, March 27-April 5;

RealTime issue #89 Feb-March 2009 pg. 10

© RealTime ; for permission to reproduce apply to [email protected]

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