Burrbgaja Yalirra
Calendar, Dance, June 18, Performing arts

Dance: Burrbgaja Yalirra

7 – 16 June @ PICA (Perth Institute of Contemporary Art) ·
Presented by Marrugeku ·

From the creators of Gudirr Gudirr, Cut the Sky and Burning Daylight, Burrbgaja Yalirra (Dancing Forwards) is an evocative triple bill of new solo works exploring reciprocity and our sense of belonging in Australia today.

More info: http://pica.org.au/
Email: info@pica.org.au

Image by Michael Torres of Jalaru Photography.

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Calendar, July 18, June 18, May 18, Visual arts

Visual arts: Hatched National Graduate Show 2018

19 May – 15 July @ PICA (Perth Institute of Contemporary Art) ·
Presented by PICA ·

Since 1992, the Hatched National Graduate Show has presented the work of over one thousand artists alongside that of their national peers in this unique showcase of emergent talent. Many of Australia’s most successful artistic careers have been launched this way.

From painting, sculpture and drawing, to installation, video, and sound work, this exhibition offers an intriguing snapshot of current contemporary art practices in Australia.

Hatched is one of the most enduring and fundamental ways that PICA fulfils its mission of supporting innovative new art practices and providing artists with career nurturing opportunities. Hatched tests the pulse of the nation’s emerging arts scene while acting as an important platform for the next generation of Australian artists.

More info: http://pica.org.au/show/hatched-2018/
Email: info@pica.org.au

Pictured: Tri Minh Tran, From Causing A Commotion Series

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Kiss Club
Calendar, May 18, Performing arts

Performance: KISS club

25 May, 7:30pm @ PICA, 51 James Street, Perth ·
Presented by PICA ·

Pucker up! Perth’s hottest performance club returns.

The ever popular KISS club is back, co-curated by PICA and pvi collective.

Originally created by Sydney based artist Karen Therese and gifted to pvi collective, KISS club is a performance event for ideas in development, featuring emerging and established artists across live performance practice.

Selected artists will present 10 minutes of a work in progress to a live audience, providing a chance to trial new ideas and receive feedback in a supportive, critical environment. A Q&A with a special guest speaker will also feature, providing insight into a topic beyond the arts.

This fast and furious performance night gives audiences a fresh view of what is bubbling in the hearts and minds of Perth’s performance makers and the opportunity to help shape and support new work.

More info: pica.org.au/show/kiss-club-2/

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Calendar, May 18, Visual arts

Visual art: Hatched Opening Night Party 2018

18 May @ PICA, 51 James Street, Perth ·
Presented by PICA ·

Join us to celebrate the opening of Hatched 2018!

See the next generation of emerging art across Australia and indulge in a selection of Perth’s hottest food trucks and live entertainment – save the date and don’t miss out on this epic PICA party.

From painting, sculpture and drawing, to installation, video, and sound work, Hatched: National Graduate Show offers an intriguing snapshot of current contemporary art practices in Australia.

More info: pica.org.au/show/hatched-2018-opening-night-party/

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Calendar, Dance, March 18, Performing arts

Visual arts: Diversity KPOP Dance Workshop

Saturday 31 March @ King St Arts Centre ·
Presented by: PICA ·

PICA loves South Korea’s electrifying renewal of pop culture so we have teamed up with Diversity to bring you a fun and intuitive KPOP dance workshop to develop (or show off) your own style.

Get together with your friends to learn a routine and flaunt your moves to an upbeat tune. Please note this workshop is held at King St Arts Centre, 357 Murray St, Perth WA.

For more information and bookings, you can book your tickets online or contact info@pica.org.au / 9228 6300.

More info: http://pica.org.au/show/diversity-kpop-dance-workshop/

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Second Woman
News, Performance art, Performing arts, Reviews, Theatre

Brave, intense, strange

Perth Festival review: The Second Woman by Nat Randall and Anna Breckon ·
Perth Institute of Contemporary Art, 3 March ·
Review by Varnya Bromilow ·

How many ways can you say the words: I love you?

In sarcasm; anger; desperation; with nonchalance; with love.

Nat Randall’s revelatory performance at the Perth Institute of Contemporary Art was a study in the nuances of language and in epic theatre.  Randall began the show at 3pm on Saturday and performed the same, fairly short scene with 100 different men over a period of 24 hours.  24 hours!  Is she mad?  Maybe.  But wow, it was good.

The scene is inspired by a very similar one from the John Cassavete classic, Opening Night.  In her version, Randall is a woman alone in what appears to be a hotel room.  She is visited by a man (well, 100 men), her partner.  They exchange about ten minutes of sparse dialogue, parsing some of the details of their relationship.  They dance, they drink, the man leaves.  This short exchange was performed over and over and over, separated by intervals of ten minutes during which the packed audience could leave, chat, or stay.  Most chose to stay, many for an hour.  Some stoic souls stayed for the whole fraught adventure.

Randall is a Sydney-based performance artist and a core member of the collectives Hissy Fit and Team MESS.  She’s no stranger to Perth audiences, having performed most recently in last year’s Proximity Festival.  She performed The Second Woman in Hobart’s famed Dark Mofo last year and in the Next Wave Festival in 2016 for which the piece was created.

Randall is incredible to watch.  Taking her cues from each new sparring partner, she changes the tone of the same piece as easily as you or I might change underwear.  The first iteration I saw was bursting with humour – the audience breaking into laughs at every second line.  The second was heartfelt, intimate.  It felt like we shouldn’t be there, hanging on each word.  Another was a scene of fatigued sadness, of love gone old and stale.  In each scene of course, the dialogue was almost identical.  The dramatic tension of the work arises from the chemistry between the players, and the audience’s concern (or investment) in the welfare of Randall.  (When) will she falter?  When will she get to go the toilet?  Is she wearing special senior’s knickers?  (Answer: she has a 15 minute break every two hours)

The male players were chosen from a general call-out made through the Festival’s publicity channels.  They called for men of diverse ages and backgrounds with non-performers specifically encouraged to apply.  Of course, some of those who were featured were certainly actors, but many (most?) were not.  They were blokes who might otherwise be in the audience…in some cases wonderfully unwitting of the thrills of live performance.  In preparation, each was given a script with the barest of stage directions.  They knew where to move, what to say and do, but the open question was how.  And therein lies the power of the piece.  I love you.  I love youI love you.  It was genuinely surprisingly to see how ten minutes of dialogue could be interpreted in such radically different ways.  How a tone can change an outcome.

The set, designed by Future Method Studio is a thing of great beauty.  A boxed room, red and lushly lit with the fourth wall sheared off for our viewing pleasure.  It feels a little Lynchian, as does Randall in her red fitted frock and tragically blonde wig.  This room dominates only half the stage with the other half of PICA’s black box taken up with a large screen – each scene is filmed in real time by two camera operators who hover just outside the room.  Randall’s collaborator for this project is Anna Breckon, a film writer and director who is the co-creator of The Second Woman.  It’s Breckon directing the footage as it gets projected onto the adjacent screen, resulting in a very unusual cinematic experience that is almost as compelling as the live action happening next door.

Audience members came and went.  And the line to get in grew ever larger (though I’m betting there was no line at 3am).  I wanted to get in for a third viewing – but alas, by that time, word had well and truly spread and the line snaked outside PICA.  A small band of brave ones (mostly artists themselves as I understand it) stayed for the full experience.  I wish I had.

Brave, intense, strange.  These are a few of my favourite things.

Photo: Perth Festival

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yourseven image
Calendar, February 18, Performing arts, Theatre

Fringe World: yourseven

1 – 17 February @ Perth Institute of Contemporary Arts •
Presented by Perth Institute of Contemporary Arts with WA Youth Theatre Company •

yourseven takes you on a journey through seven one-on-one encounters in photo booths to recreate and predict your own life.

Featuring performers from WA Youth Theatre Company and created by James Berlyn, co-founder of Proximity Festival, yourseven is a touching and intimate flash-forward journey all about you.

More info: https://fringeworld.com.au/whats_on/yourseven-by-james-berlyn-fw2018

Photo: Aaron Webber


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Calendar, December, November, Visual arts

Visual arts: I don’t want to be there when it happens

11 November – 24 December @ PICA Central Galleries

Presented by Perth Institute of Contemporary Arts in Partnership with 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art, Sydney.

Curated by Mikala Tai, Kate Warren, Eugenio Viola; Artists: Raqs Media Collective, Reena Saini Kallat, Raj Kumar, Sonia Leber & David Chesworth, Mithu Sen, Adeela Suleman Abdullah M I Syed

Opening Night: 10 November | 6:30-8:30pm  RSVP 

PICA Central Galleries

Starting from the fragile and complex socio-political relationship between India and Pakistan in the era of contemporary warfare, I don’t want to be there when it happens investigates, in a broader sense, the psychology of trauma.

In response to the 70th anniversary of the Partition of Colonial India (14 August 1947), this exhibition features artists from both Pakistan and India whose evocative practices convey the profound existential unease of our age, either directly or indirectly. They unravel the present time, dealing with the legacy of history, as well as foretelling the future.

I don’t want to be there when it happens reaffirms the rejection of violence as well as the need for more effective and profound structures for dialogue through conscious acts of engagement.

The exhibition is organised in partnership with 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art and expanded on the occasion of its presentation at PICA.

More info: pica.org.au
Email: info@pica.org.au

Pictured: After all it’s always someone else who dies (2017) Hanging steel, dimensions variable, installation view. This artwork has been commissioned by 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art, Sydney and supported by The Keir Foundation. Photo: Kai Wasikowski.


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Calendar, December, November, Visual arts

Visual arts: Remedial Works

11 November – 24 December @ PICA Westend Gallery ◆

Curated by Andrew Varano; Artists: Sophie Cassar, Clare Milledge, Pakui Hardware, Shana Moulton, Jess Tan, Anicka Yi

Opening Night: 10 November | 6:30-8:30pm RSVP

PICA Westend Gallery

Remedial Works is an exhibition that groups an international set of artists working together to understand the novel and specific materials of contemporary global societies, and how these materials and their embedded meanings can affect human bodies and relationships.

Human bodies are now placed within a unique environment of surfaces and substances – from rare earth metals and the ingredients of modern food science to pheromones, hormones, cosmetics and pharmaceuticals – equally palliative and poisonous and all connected to capital.

Recognising the maxim ‘the dose makes the poison’, Remedial Works looks at the fine line between a material’s capacity to repair or pollute both bodies and land. While recognising that most of us are situated within the systems of industrial production and consumption, Remedial Works asks, in light of this, what role can art making perform towards remediation and healing?

More info: pica.org.au
Email: info@pica.org.au

Pictured: Jess Tan luxury waste and contained emotions 2016-17sad balloon, garden weed, earthenware clay, amethyst, PVC plastic, 118 hand sewn tears filled with glitter, glass ash tray and debris from install. Image courtesy of Jessica Quinnell.

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News, Reviews, Visual arts

Science made poetic and personable

Review: ‘Energies: Haines & Hinterding’ ·
Perth Institute of Contemporary Art, 1 September ·
Review by Jenny Scott ·

The intangible energies surrounding us – radio waves, television signals, and electrical fields – become visible and palpable within the multidisciplinary works of David Haines and Joyce Hinterding in “Energies: Haines & Hinterding”. A touring exhibition from the Museum of Contemporary Art Australia, “Energies” is the first museum survey of Haines and Hinterding’s 15 years of artistic collaborations.

When wearing the supplied headphones and tracing the lines with a finger, visitors are in control of their sensory experience of these works – and can even try to “play” the drawings like musical instruments. Photo: Cam Campbell

This exhibition aims to engage and extend the senses, with wall labels prompting visitors to listen, smell, gesture, or (gently) touch to fully experience many of the works on display. Moving beyond purely visual appreciation, Hinterding’s conductive graphite drawings offer the additional potential to be touched and heard. When wearing the supplied headphones and tracing the lines with a finger, visitors are in control of their sensory experience of these works – and can even try to “play” the drawings like musical instruments.

Throughout “Energies”, Haines and Hinterding illustrate scientific models and their data in poetic and personable ways. The artists seem determined to draw our attention to the underlying processes and unseen physical phenomena in our lives, like the television signals transmitted into the gallery space through the antennae of Purple Rain (2004). In another room, Earthstar (2008) allows visitors to stare directly at a detailed projection of the sun, listen to a live broadcast of its electromagnetic radiations, and sniff two (speculative) examples of its odours. This multisensory portrait of the sun emphasises its tangible nature; encouraging us to think about, and feel amazed by, the omnipresent star that we depend upon but rarely consider.

Many of the works in “Energies” originated from what curator Anna Davis terms “informal experiments” conducted by the artists, who infuse their scientific aesthetic with an occult vibe. The boundaries between the empirical and the supernatural become playfully blurred; seemingly authoritative machines are revealed to be pseudoscientific “cloudbuster” devices, while plant specimens are photographed using a process once believed to prove the existence of the paranormal.

Standing on the centre circle in front of a motion sensor, individual visitors can move their arms to navigate through a virtual mountainous landscape. Photo: Cam Campbell

Be sure to head upstairs to experience, or watch others navigate, the virtual reality of Geology (2015). This massive interactive installation fills PICA’s West End Gallery, and was inspired by a visit to the Christchurch Art Gallery Te Puna o Waiwhetu which was damaged by earthquakes in 2011. Standing on the centre circle in front of a motion sensor, individual visitors can move their arms to navigate through a virtual mountainous landscape projected onto the back wall. Under the spotlight each participant becomes a public “player” of the work, and others are encouraged to watch their attempts at learning the logic of the landscape and the rules of the “game”. Visitors are free to choose their level of engagement; they can remain an observer, appreciate simply floating through the unique large-scale VR landscape, or embrace the gamified nature of the world and actively quest to uncover three different “levels”.

“Energies” is an exhibition appealing equally to those with more knowledge of science than contemporary art, and vice versa, while those less inclined to participation can enjoy watching others navigate the sonic and olfactory experiences.

Energies: Haines & Hinterding runs until 29 October 2017.

Top photo: Cam Campbell

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