2018 Festival of Live Art at Arts House

Arts House FOLA Worktable Kate McIntosh.jpgEach evening at the North Melbourne Town Hall, the Festival of Live Art has been offering visitors the opportunity to experience a series of installations, one-on-one works and performances. David Collins went along on Friday 16 March and took a look at three shows on offer.

Worktable
A terrifying personality test disguised as a fun exploration of art as destruction/creation, Worktable is an interactive installation certainly worth a visit. It has a simple premise: Choose an object, destroy it and put the pieces in a box, then swap that box for another containing the remains of an object someone else has ruined and try to put it back together.

It’s a fascinating exercise, particular once you take your ‘reassembled’ piece and enter a final space, uncovering more exploration and statements about art, as well as possibly more about yourself than you ever expected to reveal. This was fun!

Uncanny Valley, Girl
Uncanny Valley, Girl
purports to merge, “seduction and simulation, cracking through the screens to channel the darkest powers of mechanisation and feminisation. Machine and body move one another and with each other.” No. Bouncy balls hidden under a jacket, cubes used as shoes. bra inserts piled on a massager, with an interminable poem to finish – this was a piece that felt rushed and incoherent.

One brief moment of clarity, as an older woman gracefully dances – a glimpse at an earlier state of being before the staccato jumble of the present moment as our lone performers moves around – was a lovely beat, but sadly stood alone. There was plenty of impulse, just no imagination.

Rest Area
J. Norman has conceived a beautiful work with Rest Area. Stepping up into a small truck parked behind the Arts House, for 15 minutes you spoon with the artist/performer before she turns you around so you are held by her.

Inherently intimate, it’s the small moments that linger: Her breath on the back of my neck, mine on her shoulder, realising later that the nature of the work means never seeing anyone’s face – at least not clearly. To be so close to another person while remaining so distant makes for an experience that reverberates long after walking away from a nondescript parking space.

Worktable
North Melbourne Town Hall, 521 Queensberry St, North Melbourne
Performance: Friday 16 March 2018 – 5.30pm
Season continues to 25 March 2018
Bookings: www.artshouse.com.au

Uncanny Valley, Girl
North Melbourne Town Hall, 521 Queensberry St, North Melbourne
Performance: Friday 16 March 2018 – 7.00pm
Season: 14 – 18 March 2018
Information: www.artshouse.com.au

Rest Area
North Melbourne Town Hall, 521 Queensberry St, North Melbourne
Performance: Friday 16 March 2018 – 8.15pm
Season: 14 – 18 March 2018
Information: www.artshouse.com.au

The 2018 Festival of Live Art continues to 25 March. For more information, visit: www.artshouse.com.au or www.fola.com.au for details.

Image: Kate McIntosh, Worktable (supplied)

Review: David Collins

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