ArtsLab Shopfront's artists in residence

I wish I could show you this.

I’ve just come back from a week in Melbourne where I saw an orgasmic amount of ART.

My curatorial collective (Groundwork) was invited to go to NEXT WAVE as part of a research trip. And research we did.

I saw, in no particular order:

Breakfast Club (“This isn’t a movement, it’s a moment” and “Tipping Point”)
BINGO UNIT (preview)
Shamanic Organic
Shotgun Wedding
The Stream, The Boat, the Shore, the Bridge
At the request of Carl Sagan
Becoming Carol Brown
The School of Global Art: DOWN UNDER
Impossible Plays
New Babylon
Bone Library
Greater Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere
Bellowing Echoes
Physical Fractals
The Exchange Part 1
Talon Salon
Goodbye CSIRAC

If that doesn’t mean anything to you, fair enough! Have a look at the NEXT WAVE website to orient yourself if you like.

Needless to say my mind has been blown and I am exhausted.

I also (paradoxically) feel a surge of energy. I want to make some hybrid, experimental pieces dealing with ‘virtuosity and the everyday’, a concept I’ve been developing over the last month. And guess what? I saw an artwork that explored this concept beautifully.

It wasn’t part of NEXT WAVE. Between many-a-stunning-NEXT-WAVE-work my friends and I went to ACCA to see an exhibition called ‘New12’; a performative visual arts exhibition curated by Jeff Khan. Like just about everything I saw in Melbourne, I loved it. The particular work from New12 that had wonderful connections to my project was called ‘Citizens Band’ by Angelica Mesiti.

Jeff Khan describes the work elegantly in the catalogue essay for New12: “Citizens Band… consists of four cinematic portraits, woven together into a mesmerising sound-and-video installation. It’s four subjects are migrants from disparate corners of the world, who have made their home in different cities in the Western world. As each portrait plays out, we are privy to an idiosyncratic and extraordinary musical performance, drawn from the subject’s homelands and translated (and transmuted) into the new geographic and cultural arena in which they find themselves.” p.4

The four videos are simple, the effect is joyful (yet haunting):

A woman plays the drums using only the water of a swimming pool.
A Mongolian throat singer busks. He performs an enchanting song, singing multiple notes at once.
A taxi driver whistles expertly, with his eyes closed, late at night.
A man performs an exquisite song on a French train and goes largely unnoticed by commuters.

One Response

  1. Maria White says:

    Looking forward to sinking my teeth into ArtsLab land again. It may be difficult because Tiny Stadiums opens on Thursday night (EEP.) But I know something is brewing, I might spend my quieter moments this week (if they in fact exist) trying to name it.