Now in its fifth year, Liveworks Festival of Experimental Art is a creative platform for captivating new work.
Each year, Performance Space brings together groundbreaking artists to push artistic boundaries and create unexpected experiences. In 2019, a wide network of visionary artists, curators and organisations unite to present a series of new commissions and premiere works that collectively point to the future of contemporary arts practice.
For this year’s edition of Liveworks features an expanded program of free events, including a new late-night music program, and some of its most ambitious Asia Pacific projects and artistic collaborations to date. Many of these works are commissioned in partnership with national and international colleague organisations, and are set to tour in Australia and beyond.
Performance Space presents five newly commissioned major works, three world premiere performances, three Australian premieres and specially curated collaborations with some of the most significant Asia Pacific artists as part of Liveworks this year.
Highlights from the 2019 program include: Other Tempo, a dynamic performance installation of modified drum kits and visual scores by artist Lauren Brincat.
This free large-scale work is the first major commission of an Australian female artist to be showcased in Carriageworks’ public space. Under Brincat’s direction, a group of celebrated women drummers – from emerging experimental musician Alyx Dennison to legendary former Go Betweens drummer Lindy Morrison – collectively present a unique approach to the sonic, physical and sculptural properties of their instruments.
In a newly-commissioned performance, Chicks on Speed fuse the group’s signature electronic music genius with performance art and bespoke technology for I’ll Be Your Body Instrument. Featuring Chicks on Speed’s extraordinary objektinstruments: specially-crafted wearable music devices that create sound in visionary new ways, this all-encompassing performance casts a feminist lens on our techno-fixated culture.
Unbearable Darkness will see audiences witness an uncanny cybernetic dance experiment conjuring Butoh master Tatsumi Hijikata from beyond the grave using a spirit medium, live dance, motion capture and a lively digital avatar. Choy Ka Fai explores the legacy of the expressive and historic dance form Butoh, questioning its appropriation in Western culture while searching for a new choreographic language for the Asian body in this Australian premiere.
Daddy is the latest work from Joel Bray, one of the most electric new figures in Australian dance. From the sugarcoated idyll of childhood reminiscence to the glazed excesses of queer adulthood, Joel’s story proves that a sweet tooth is a dangerous thing. An exploration of his insatiable cravings for father figures and the imperial all-consuming hunger for Aboriginal Australia, Daddy probes one of the paradoxes of our age: when so much is on offer, why are we left so hungry?
Gail Priest and Thomas Burless present an exquisite installation and world premiere performance where science, sound and sculpture meet in A continuous self-vibrating region of intensities. Inspired by the lesser-known work of pioneering vocalist Margaret Watts Hughes and her 19th century invention, the Eidophone, the artists have created a collection of sculptures and devices that convert the human voice into a mesmerising display of visual patterns and effects. Each night, vocalists Carolyn Connors and Sonya Holowell join Priest to sing these objects to life, enabling us to hear and see sound at the same time.
Samara Hersch brings her intimate new work and surprising, challenging and tender experience Body of Knowledge to Liveworks in 2019. Performed by teenagers, who call into the theatre on mobile phones—this work is a powerful meditation on age and change: changes to bodies, changes in attitude and changes to life. Questions of boundaries, sexuality, pleasure, shame, pain, consent, ageing, grief and death are all on the table as teens from across Australia and the globe chat with the audience in real time from their bedrooms.