15 September 2013

Dark Arts: election special

Last Saturday, 7 September 2013, I wrote a text and did a reading of it for an exhibition called Dark Arts, held at Marrickville Garage and curated by Philipa Veitch. Philipa writes:

'Dark Arts is a group exhibition investigating the phenomena of the permanent campaign, a term that has come to describe not only the process of non-stop or total campaigning by politicians, but a situation where the process of campaigning and the process of governing have lost their distinctiveness.'

The artists involved were Carla Cescon and Scott Donovan, Alex Gawronski, Ian Milliss (pictured above), Sarah Newall and Jane Polkinghorne, Kevin Sheehan, and Philipa Veitch.

My text/performance was titled 'Crass demo (subject imperative)'. I made a 15 minute mix which was played loudly through an amp, while I read into a microphone, clumsily flicking through A4 pages, holding an iPhone with torch app because I asked the lights be off, and dressed very chicly in black, with red lips and high heels.

It was only later I realised the significance of doing the performance in the dark, given the theme of the show, i.e. based on the dusky times of democracy in which we live. Coincidentally, the only other light source besides the iPhone torch was behind me: the muted TV coverage of the Australian federal election results as the votes came in, visible on a flat-screen to my right (showing an array of ugly commentators' faces, coloured graphs and a depressing swing toward the conservative party).

The very amateur mix includes the following tracks:

Uspudo after Erik Satie - Gymnopédie No. 1
Emptyset - Gate 2
Kraftwerk - Showroom Dummies
Isao Tomita after JS Bach - The Sea Named 'Solaris'
Neil Diamond - Red, Red Wine
Anon. after Vincenzo Bellini - Casta Diva piano arrangement
Lana Del Rey - Blue Jeans (Penguin Prison remix)
Mina with Alberto Lupo - Parole, Parole

A transcript of the 'Crass demo' text is available upon request.

Thanks a lot to Philipa Veitch.


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