RAW: Tracey Moffatt – Narratives – AGSA

Laudanum no. 1 by Tracey Moffatt

Something More (no. 3)

By Kelli Rowe

The dynamic link between the image and the story was at the heart of the recent exhibition of leading Australian contemporary artist, Tracey Moffatt: Narratives, at the Art Gallery of South Australia.

The formal language of images and contemporary visual culture, from Hollywood film to the family photo album, was explored through seven of Moffatt’s photographic series and ten DVD works. The exhibition begins with her groundbreaking Something More (1989), a heavily stylised photographic series that depicts a loose narrative surrounding a young aboriginal woman in Asian dress (Moffatt herself), and questions ideas of authenticity, desire, cultural identification and meaning within a veiled representation of sadomasochism.

Moffatt continually explores divisive social issues such as race, sexuality and cultural memory, while exploring the significance of certain styles of visual culture. For example, the two series Scarred for Life (1994) and Scarred for Life II (1999) explore these ideas through the theme of childhood trauma. The photographs are constructed to mimic the washed-out and faded quality of family photo albums and are presented in the format of the American magazine Life in order to question the provocative link between the caption and the image.

Diverse visual references, from Goya and Dalí to the comic strip and soap opera, infuse her emotionally charged and controversial subject matter. Invocations (2000) explores eerie dream sequences, while Laudanum (1999) confronts the thorny relationships of gender, class and sexuality through haunting images of a Victorian-era madam and her Asian maid.

It is a pity that Tracey Moffatt: Narratives, the first major exhibition of Moffatt’s work in Adelaide, was only shown for a short time as part of the Adelaide Film Festival. Yet, it is encouraging to see the Gallery engaging with provocative contemporary Australian and international art, with AES+F’s The Feast of Trimalchio opening 2011, followed by Tracey Moffatt: Narratives, and still to come the incredible Australian hyperrealist sculptor, Patricia Piccinini, whose exhibition Once Upon a Time will open on 16 April.

Images Details:

(Left)  Laudanum (no. 1)

from the series of 19 prints ‘Laudanum’ 1998
photogravure on paper
76.0 × 57.0 cm (plate)
Courtesy the artist and Roslyn Oxley9 Gallery, Sydney

(Right)  Somthing More (no. 3)

from the series of 9 photographs ‘Something More’ 1989
direct positive colour photograph
98.0 × 127.0 cm (image)
Courtesy the artist and Roslyn Oxley9 Gallery, Sydney

FRINGE: Music – Adam Page Solo – La Boheme – 4.5K


By now Adelaideans have no excuse. In fact, so many of us want to that his sold-out Solo Fringe shows at La Boheme had to be moved downstairs to accommodate more people. People of all ages, of all subcultures, and of all nationalities – an American musician touring for the Fringe waited out the front of La Boheme for hours in vain to get a ticket – want to see Adam Page, because the guy is so damn entertaining.

And the people were not disappointed. Using loop pedals and instruments ranging from log drums to saxophone, from to bass ukulele to an old suitcase organ, even his beard, Page showcased his incredible musical talent and inventiveness constructing songs that were as varied as his musical tools. He opened with a grooving jazz tune; mashed together Cats the Musical, Bluegrass and Metal; and ended with a beautiful solo clarinet version of Radiohead’s High and Dry. Plus, he’s just a super-cool guy. He’s funny, he down to earth, he’s energetic and he constantly interacts with the audience. Adelaide is lucky to have such a well-rounded, professional and entertaining performer.

Kryztoff Rating  4.5K

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RAW: Football Wrap – Preseason Ends

Masochists Prepare For More Soul Destruction. Bring It On!

By The Silver Bullet

Has it finally come? Oh yes it has, the season kick off is tomorrow, whoopee! when the almost now traditional blue between Carlton and the Tigers takes place at the G.

Tiger fans are you ever in for another great year with hard nuts Hardwick labelling the last quarter of that last trial ‘soul destroying’. Oh what music to the ears of the masochists that have taken over your fan base in the past 30 years.  Nobodies in black and gold just lining up for their cheques, with not even a Cousins sleeping pill distraction to keep them off the dread list. Expect business as usual by 10.30pm tomorrow night.

Take St Kilda out of the picture (and not those pictures) and this has been as standard a pre-season as there has been. Coaches bitching over rule changes, the NAB cup condemned, predictions aplenty of no great use and breathtaking coverage of thigh strains. Speaking of the NAB Cup, can anyone remember who played in the final. Oh yeah Collingwood and Essendon with pretty boy James Hird confirming that even if you have never coached before you quickly learn how to speak like one. ‘This game tells us exactly where we are as a football club.’ No James, please don’t make us suffer a season of Neil Craig drone like that. Get nude, paint your hair green, hang out with Lady Gaga but spare us that drivel.

Can you believe the fuss over this new concussion rule? How is it that players who get poleaxed, have wobbly legs, rolling eyes, goo from the mouth, you know the whole mess, suddenly reappear on the paddock and everyone says they were fine despite they can’t remember the last time they chatted with the St Kilda school girl. In case you have never been concussed, any doctor worth their MBBS will tell you a minimum of one week rest is needed in case the brain gets another knock in which case severe repercussions later in life are on the cards – think one Muhammad Ali.

But not in the AFL where geniuses are now threatening not to record concussions so that the game goes on and the future of their champions are severely threatened. Still, not the first time I suppose – just Google Chad Fletcher.

Speaking of business as usual in the AFL shiver looking for a spine department, how about this Ricky Nixon thing. Only a lawyer would conjure the notion that you can’t tear up his acceditation for (inter alia) having drug problems because he is in drug rehab which prevents him making his defence. Brilliant! And the Emperor, well where is he – oh yes there he is slinking ever lower under his desk.

Finally, it is good to see Brendan Fevola is going so well. 66 days in rehab, signs with a new club, buggers off to the US for a bit of R&R, sacks his manager. The media treats his problems like he’s recovering from a stubbed toe before a few goody goodies take his side and suggest we leave him alone. Leave him alone! After he goes to the Crown Casino to do some investing in what looked awfully like a stunt for his $40,000 appearance with Eddie Everywhere to talk about 66 days in rehab, signing with a new club etc etc?  Are they serious?

The whole thing looks like a carbon copy of Ben Cousins’ first months in the room of mirrors a couple of years back (and wasn’t that a triumph of spin over substance (again not those substances)) or failing that Fev has taken up with Charlie Sheen’s PR agency.

Anyway, enjoy your football. Collingwood to go top, Suns to go last, Voss first to go, Malthouse to go last. North Melbourne and Port to remain on the gurnee in financial triage. Fev back in rehab by round 3. St Kilda dropping more than their trousers to 6th.

RAW: Stop (the) Gap: International Indigenous Art in Motion – Samstag – 4K

Still from Lisa Reihana's Te Po O Matariki

Still from Warwick Thornton's Stranded

A stream of this year’s successful Bigpond Adelaide Film Festival was the Art and the Moving Image, seven exhibitions of works in six venues and with the Samstag’s recent emphasis on indigenous art, it is no surprise that Stop (the) Gap: International Indigenous Art in Motion is showing there.

Brenda L. Croft has brought together seven works by six artists from around the globe all of which in their particular ways address issues of human rights, the continuing impact of colonialism and cultural identity in a contemporary world.

Perhaps the most captivating of attention is Rebecca Belmore’s The Named and the Unnamed, a 30 odd minute film of her vigil in a somewhat grimy Vancouver alley in the name of the more than 500 First Nation women who have vanished as victims of sexual abuse, serial killers and a society that has not valued their lower class highly enough to find them or put an end to the practises. Filmed with a somewhat unsteady handheld camera (please don’t tell David Stratton) before an audience of a couple of dozen, Belmore scrubs and prepares the street surface before nailing her flowing red dress to various power poles and then ripping it off them. The action takes place behind a haze of lit Osram globes, representing those who have gone missing. It is an extraordinary piece.

Warwick Thornton (of Samson and Delilah fame) provides Australia’s contribution, Stranded. In it Thornton is Christ like nailed to a white cube cross that rotates at some speed above various heartland images of great colour and sentiment – the dawn light combined with chirping birds, a blowfly’s buzz and a whirling windmill. The fact his torso is clawed up, his hat sweat stained and his boots taped up add to the potential interpretations and the work’s satiric nature and his own quote as a six year old that “I want to be like Jesus Christ when I grow up” gives it all a sadness that makes its mark.

As an effort to give voice in a popular medium to issues and peoples that may otherwise be relegated to usual media clichés, Dana Claxton’s Rattle is probably the most pure of the works. Here she endeavours to make accessible to a modern audience the craft of horsehair and beaded rattles in Sioux tradition in a format that is somewhat trance inducing.

If criticism is to be laid it is in the opening notes of Ms Croft in the program which feature an all too familiar rant against whites celebrating Australia Day. Either art speaks for itself, posing to us the viewer the opportunity to assess the messages and the context in which we may interpret them or they fail as worthy works of art. Grossing up the message upfront will work to defeat the purpose of an exhibition more often than it enlightens it.

The idea of closing the gap between indigenous and non-indigenous worlds, whether as another Government slogan or through exhibitions such as this, is a worthy goal (as I am unsure what an alternative is that is also worthy) and this exhibition is a valuable contribution to that goal.

FRINGE: Beer And Loathing – Rhino Room (Beer Garden) – 4.5K

By Rupert Hogan Turner

With so much of the pro comedy circuit wedded to safe material about relationships gone wrong and bozo flat mates et al, local boy Jon Brooks breaks the mould at the Rhino Room with a full on assault on our political world.

From our quaint politicians and their ethical dilemmas to a general sh*t on the liver session about most things happening in this country, Brooks is the funny guy in the bar that draws a crowd that just wants to hang there hoping that his fun never finishes.

One of the highlights of the Rhino Fringe season.

Kryztoff Rating  4.5K

FRINGE: Dead Cat Bounce – Excess at Gluttony – 4K

Irish group, Dead Cat Bounce brought their own style of concept comedy rock to Excess at Gluttony in two shows. The one playing most nights and their more successful was entitled Caged Heat where band members Jim, Dave, Shane and Mick played their own songs on a range of topics from Ronald Reagan to the similarities between pigeons and pirates (if you can believe that.)

The other, Bootlegs, was late on Mondays where the boys played (effectively) two verse covers that seemed to know no end and rollicked long to the delight of a young crowd that filed in, many of which were Fringe workers of some form or another looking for a bit of release away from their duties.

Rock comedy like this is not easy for you need some good material that the audience can actually hear. Lead singer Jim, looking every bit Jim Morrison reincarnated, provided a somewhat disarming (but effective) figure as the classic rock band lead singer but with somewhat coy and goofy antics. The rest assumed the usual range of personalities and great merriment was had.

Elsewhere this fringe, in a similar style, we had Tim McMillan and the Axis of Awesome. Dead Cat Bounce sit somewhere in between them, being without the trickery of McMillan but brave enough to go with their own material where the Axis crew relied more heavily on parody.

Their Caged Heat shows were terrific while their Bootlegs seemed just an excuse to jam, where little of their band’s personalities got a run.

Very much hope they return next year.

Kryztoff Rating  4K

RAW: Fear of a Brown Planet Attacks Again – Garden – 4K

By Zoe Mitchell

Aamer Rahman and Nazeem Hussain deliver comedy with a consience through Fear of a Brown Planet Attacks Again. These two use their lived experience to challenge the views of modern Australian society, to question this nations ability to end racism, and to give insight into what it is like to be a minority, and a muslim, in this country. Humour is a great tool to get people to listen without getting defensive. Rahman and Hussain both use their comedic skills wisely to speak in an ‘other’ language and discuss opposing views on cultural realities, both their own, and that of the wider community.

Both comedians were finalists in the 2007 Victorian Triple J Raw Comedy, Rahman winning the event, and both have written and performed for Australian television. This show gave the opportunity to relax a little on race related topics such as the Hajib. We were allowed to laugh at our own ability to be so opinionated, and could reflect on things that the average Australian doesn’t really have the understanding to comment on.

Kryztoff Rating  4K

RAW: Henry Manetta and the Trip – The Prom – 4K

By Zoe Mitchell

This afternoon jazz performance laid down their set with style and grace. The Promethean provided a sumptuous venue for the high class musical foursome, the New Jazz Underground. Consisting of the singer, drummer, bass player and pianist, the band gave us over an hour and a half of original and cover pieces, putting their heart and soul into providing the audience with an unforgettable performance.

The audience took their jazz very seriously, and seemed very happy with what they recieved from Henry Manetta and the Trip. The band were very professional and capable in their abilities to create freeflowing soundscapes for the audience. The visual rapport between the band members allowed the audience to trust them, and be taken into the unspoken, creative realm of Sexjazz.

Kryztoff Rating 4K.

FRINGE: Freefall – Arcade Lane – 5K

By Zoe Mitchell

I was excited to go see a show at this new venue. Arcade Lane is a sweet and quirky place that makes great use of one of Adelaide’s primarily forgotten spaces, the Regent Cinema. The public enter this space through the Arcade Lane, where a bar and stage are set up on the street for the enjoyment of the people. This took me back to the more grungy Fringe of old, and the East End and Orange Lane Markets, that once resided in Adelaide’s warehouse ‘wastelands’.

As the audience filed in we were asked what it is we are scared of, and this was written down on a big sheet of paper. This paper was shown on stage. The performers mixed comedy with juggling, acrobatics, dance and theatre to explore the basis of our fears, and how we can break away from them. They did this by representing metaphors of human fragility, such as running with scissors, juggling with knives, eggs and bottles, and precarious acts of balance and strength that can only be accomplished with a strong element of trust in each other. There were large light globes swinging very low onto the stage that were used as part of the act, which also added to the delicate nature of the body.

The script included discussion of what the performers fear, who they trust, and the experiences that made them that way. The musical backdrop sometimes included a recording of children talking about their individual fears. This element of fear accented the visual balance acts and juggling really well. At the end of the performance, the sheet of paper with all our fears was ripped in half, showing us that these fears are all in our minds, and that our bodies are capable of almost anything, if we wish them to be. Freefall was a high impact, highly entertaining performance.

Kryztoff Rating  5K.

RAW: Adelaide Oval – Real Estate Realities and Remedies

As is well known now, $85m of the $535m in funding for this project to be provided by the SA Government is going to the SACA for all its interest in the Adelaide Oval lease. This amount cancels out the SACA’s debt and has been variously described as a SACA ‘bailout’ or the start of ‘new era for grassroots cricket’ in this State.

But increasingly SACA members are asking how is it that this is only value being received by members for their interest in the Adelaide Oval. For starters, $115m has just been spent on the new western grandstand, so for that alone you would think that would be the starting point for a value.

Then there is the fact that the lease has 33 years to run and the oval has been the SACA’s since the 1860’s, so while a future value may be constrained by the term of the lease, the reality is that on-going interest in the oval would otherwise likely be its so long as cricket is played.

Then there is all the investment in structures like the administration building and indoor practice nets, the Bradman Stand and whole eastern side stands (Chappell and Hills stands) plus the scoreboard and Adelaide No. 2 Ground that have been funded over the years by successive generations of members. The iconic status of the ground and its ideal near CBD locale also add to its value.

So how is it that the only value SACA President Ian McLachlan has been able to extract from the deal is 20% less than the value of their brand new stand? One can only imagine Mr McLachlan and the SACA board would have had the benefit of a valuation, but this like its business plan presented to the ACC and the State Government has not ever been produced to members. Perhaps the Information Book forthcoming for members will reveal all.

What does perhaps reveal all is the impact of views this development will have. Kryztoff has commissioned local photographer Harry Pearce to do a photo montage mock up of the eastern side of the oval, viewed from the members stand to show how it will look and what it will mean for views. Using the western stand as the model, the results speak for themselves.

The views east and south are obliterated, the cathedral views are now gone for around three quarters of viewing areas and the historic scoreboard is complete dwarfed by the tsunami of concrete coming its way to its left.

Those in favour like to lament about what other alternatives are, especially now the SANFL, in its grand master plan have conceded that Football Park is shot as a venue in just a few years. Well, Kryztoff is prepared to pose one:

Port Adelaide home games should be scheduled on Adelaide Oval as it is currently configured. The SA Government should underwrite a full gate and pay it to the SANFL or Port as compensation for not having the games played at Football Park. Total cost would be in the order of $5m – $10m per annum.

Consequences are that Port Adelaide is saved from financial ruin and the SANFL and AFL the cost of continuing to prop it up. AFL football is played in the city each fortnight and fulfils the Government’s grand notion of bringing people back to the city. Current public transport infrastructure can probably sustain crowds at this level and no new infrastructure is needed in the Oval and SACA members get what they were originally promised when this whole redevelopment proposal was first mooted.

Total cost $5-10m a year. Total savings $535m-$800m upfront.

Savings can then be spent on the Keith Hospital and the like and planning properly for a new covered stadium in 5 – 10 years to meet the needs of a wide range of sports, including soccer, rugby, athletics as well as AFL.

Let’s start debating this option.