42a at EAF

Last year at Downtown, 42a was the most memorable show for me in Adelaide. Then Alison got Triennial funding and 42a is on next week at the Experimental Art Foundation. mmm… dance installation, small things, vibrating things, etc…

hello friends and lovers,

hope you can make it to 42a the show im directing and performing in along with annemarie kohn, kel mocilnik, adam synnott, alisdair macindoe, rachel fenwick, veronica shum and carlie angel. other possible friends who are involved are sol ulbrich, damo jones, michelle delaney and ade suharto.

we open this thurs 26th june AND perform live in the space for the whole of the opening hours.

thurs 26th 6-8pm, fri 27th 11am-5pm, sat 28th 2-5pm,
tues-fri 1st-4th 11am-5pm, sat 5th 2pm-5pm

come in during the day, stay for an hour or 5mins. come anytime and stay as long as you like. hope to see you there

Lion Arts Centre
North Tce
(next to the jam factory and near fowlers live)
Thurs 26th June 6-8pm
26th June 5th July
Tuesday – Friday 11-5pm
Saturday 2-5pm

swanhilda is a punk

Daniel is having showings of the development of his new work this weekend with some of Adelaide’s most wild and beautiful dancers. Free with wine to drink after.


The progress showing of Daniel Jaber’s Swanhilda is a Punk.

Come be a part of street punk Swanhilda’s fraught escapade as she trespasses into “your” nation’s space and conflicts with those she considers most crass.

WHERE? Dancecraft & Gravity Studios, 41 Gilles St, Adelaide
WHEN? March 29 at 7:30pm and March 30 at 1pm


… and then that evening

I was genuinely about to go home for a long sleep so today I could do some work on my Residency, but Daniel insisted I come over to Tara’s and … I bend like a reed in a gentle breeze. Leaving Gala with Sudoku and crosswords I found myself amidst drunken people. Daniel had prepared shots for me. Daniel prepared more shots for me. Then a cocktail. Alison and Carlie were there, along with Tara, Sandrine, several others … more food, now only chocolate, a sheesha, more drinks, more … ham?


if you’re cute and you’re in the bar’s toilet …

More from Alison whose installation-performance if you’re cute and you’ve got good sneakers … in the toilets of FAD Bar is happening this Saturday with Daniel Jaber and Kate Skully. I just like the photos of Daniel in the toilets … but he reads this now … and even comments … probably should shut up now …

if you’re cute and you’ve got good sneakers …

More from Alison who I think is compelled to be Adelaide’s independent dance scene, I mean all of it, she’s done more shows in the last week than I have in several years, and has an amazing pair of night blue Asics trainers and was very nice to hang out with while we all worked in Cibo last night. (Oh and noodles at 水饺店 Dumpling King last week too). She has another show on this week. With … Daniel! … and Kel!

If you’re cute and you’ve got good sneakers
Moving Image Closing Party
SALA Festival
9:30pm – 5:00am
Waymouth Street


we were thinking about each other

I returned to Judith Butler last week, beginning a rereading of Gender Trouble and placing Undoing Gender on order at the Experimental Art Foundation. If my works tend to have single books that define them then what will emerge sometime in October I suppose will come from her. I seem to struggle to find theorists or philosophers whose works are less than a decade old who manage to ensnare me, perhaps because the contemporary in whatever they write needs to become history and forgotten first.

Judith Butler, Deleuze and Guattari, especially these writers though also so many others who stormed through me were introduced by – I’d like to remember this as – one person in a whirl of a year that ended with me moving to Melbourne. Sometimes the past is further away than it seems.

At EAF for the mediocre James Dodd exhibition opening following a bowl of noodles, nostalgia and sentimentalism Taiwanese beef noodle soup at Dumpling King with Banksia and Gloria, and I stumble into someone I haven’t seen in maybe eight years. Yes, there is a connection to these books and writers and the person with the books. Was it that I thought of them all and maybe even told some story about them responsible for this reappearance?

Sunday to Yingchow. Not as good as Dumpling King and more expensive. But another reunion, from Berlin and many emails to Adelaide, Paea here and me too. Then to the Grace Emily for an evening of drinking and talking before the last night of Alison’s 42a. Sitting on beer carpet with Xuan remembering Taipei and Taiwan. Later in the front bar with Paea, bits of ourselves. I thought last night how close I am to being home. So elusive.


42a a cameraphone recollection

A recollection of 42a from my phone, somewhat disordered.


How to write about someone I have spent much of the last couple of months hanging out with, eating too much, drinking, laughing till pain sets in? Or more pertinently if I say this is one of the best pieces of art I’ve seen this year, how much of that is derived from knowing Alison Currie and the pleasure I get from seeing their personal weirdness as an artist unfurled? I thought perhaps I tend to favour art by my friends because I have this intimacy with them, an unscrupulous duplicity born of dance world nepotism, but perhaps I like my friends because I am entranced by their intellect and passion and ideas and personal fascination and so the art they make is only this attraction made real. Of course then I’d like it.

42a + downtown artspace = ✓ is is something of an installation, performance art, and post-show party without the attenuating distraction of the show, something of a second-stage development and mostly a visit into the odd minds and home of some of Adelaide’s most sublime artists.

Downtown, located appropriately opposite the warm fire of the Grace Emily Hotel is two smallish concrete rooms, the front possessing a large, wall-opening chrome-fringed sheet glass window. The past three weeks, Alison along with programmer (and dancer and choreographer and maker of Blood Rain) Adam Synnott, video artist Annemarie Kohn, artist and performer, chainsaw collector and cardboard box enthusiast Kel Mocilnik, dancers Veronica Shum and Rachel Fenwick, and with mentor Sol Ulbrich have been inhabiting the two rooms and growing a peculiar collection of objects, movement, things that do things when you do things, food, games, an accumulation of adventures to be found during its opening hours.

This is not a dance performance. It is dance, or rather there is dance there, movement, small phrases that evolve and adapt depending on who is watching, where they are standing or sitting or lying, fragments that come and go that become something different over time. It is like a raindrop. If rain on a window holds no attraction neither will this, though if the difference and repetition of each tiny explosion profoundly stills your attention, the continual ebb and flow here can become transfixing. As a performance it is one to attend or ignore to arrive and leave and arrive again; the opposite of a narrative chained to steps and counts impelled into existence over time that demands unfaltering focus.

Then there is the minutia, for those with microscopic attention who look for dirt in the cracks and seams of tiles, or how one wall folds into another, a certain kind of attention that privileges detail and minor architecture as much as the broad scale inhabited by people, one for getting on your belly and peering. After and hour or so delighting in all these things to be found and discovered, I interrupted Adam in a game of Go with Tanja to coax maybe some more things I’d missed from him. A fake powerpoint, more fingernail sized bicycles, and yes, a chainsaw. Another hour on and still without the chainsaw, I’d increased my collection of oddities again, and when we all departed still thought about what I’d missed.

As with Adam’s in the bones of children in which Alison danced, I’m caught between a mechanical listing and describing of objects and events and an evasive, subtle and entrancing experience, like floating, eyes out of focus. A favourite pastime for me is letting my thoughts bleed to a background haze, eyes barely registering the blankness or complexity of whatever room I’m inhabiting, a comfortable abandonment as much asleep in absence of response to the world yet nowhere near drifting into oblivion. All of 42a allowed my most enjoyed diversion complete indulgence.

Things and objects. Adam has again been programming and soldering, building and coding, giving movement to Annemarie’s luminous pixel flowers sliding across Alison’s turquoise wallpaper, and Kel’s coin-operated ice cave fridge and miniature sink-side tundra. I’m really in awe of his phenomenally rapid grasp and application of the technology he’s working with, and also where his aesthetic is coming from. For me, him and Alison are by far the most interesting and accomplished independent choreographers and artists in Adelaide.

Carboard boxes growing like lichen on moist and shaded concrete, spilling out onto the streets around Downtown, a pop-up New York Story, the coin-operated freezer ice-fountain, a fridge-top plate of hundreds-and-thousands cookies and a television with dancing technicolour cookie dots. The fake powerpoint. A medicine cabinet with ginger candy and Berocca, Alison’s breakfast snacks, The lift to the crystal room, more diminutive bycycles, cars and a condom. The worktable, games, food, chairs to sit with the residents of 42a. The wallpaper growing under linoleum floor tiles, between broken and perished gaps, into the walls where tiles and skirting aren’t quite flush. How much more have I missed?

People dancing. Veronica Shum, Kel Mocilnik and Rachel Fenwick are the trio who deal with the dancing part of this installation, though all the artists by being there somehow emerge as performers or actors. Kel is the only non-dancer in the midst, though for me often he pulled my attention more than the others. Besides having a really elegant natural movement, he was playful and spontaneous in how he could respond to the people closest to him, and more than once had someone following his gaze as he repeatedly glanced at something only he saw, or straining to hear conversations with himself, Veronica, Rachel or someone near.

Rachel often slouched to the floor drunk or insensate, pulling herself inwards mid-phrase to an unconscious stop before getting up, wandering off for a drink of water a sitdown and chat then off somewhere again, maybe to terrify the patrons of the Grace Emily. Veronica was by far the most introverted of the three, barely registering another’s presence, adding a voyeuristic confusion in watching her, like peering through someone’s uncurtained window.

The complete closeness of the dancers to audience, sometimes on top, around, constricting, or just brushing past is mostly absent in dance performance where the body is seen at a distance and the choreography relies on the broadest of gestures. Like Anna Teresa De Keersmaeker in her solo Once, the audience in the first few rows have an entirely different experience to those in the rear. And here, to be able to see and feel the warmth of a dancer’s skin and breath or if you so choose to touch, to see a performance so close it loses focus.

What did I want more of? I came along to the preview or I suppose dress run, and after thought a few things that remained after seeing it at vernissage. Of course I want more things to discover, a continual growth like the forest reclaiming Chernobyl, and for this also to occur across the duration of the season, so the evolution occurs not just across the hours of one day. Yes they only had three quick weeks, and really did not have an unclaimed minute.

The ceiling and area above eye’s horizon was sadly neglected, and I would have loved to find as much fascination in lying on my back gazing skywards as I did looking at the floor. Also, as this was a play with homes to have smells and odours, potted aromas of fish soup and compost, far from the smells of a house under the hammer of an auction. And more sound.

My immediate and enduring favourite place was beside the shoebox cardboard house listening to a drugged chainsaw or farm town pissup on insulating headphones watching Rachel Kel and Veronica arrive and depart. To have more of these also or to hear the different rooms and corners of the gallery amplified like this, the spaces continuously folding in on themselves would have been magical.

The choreography also which evolved depending on who and how many were in what proximity at times had that sleepy attraction for me I am so partial to. Again though I’d have liked to seen a more complex and subtle evolution. Stealing unconscious movement from the audience, growing into something absolutely unrecognisable from what was at the beginning of the night, really to play and be set free from itself. This I think is one of the contemporary concerns in dance, how to get beyond imprisoning movement to steps and counts, to understand movement as a series of initial conditions that can change over multiple iterations the way software models of organisms, cells, life can do the same.

To grasp how this could be achieved in movement I think is what Alison is striving for. Simultaneously how to engender a conceptual involvement with the scale of individuals one step magnified, like standing too close, and where identity resides at this level. Along with her ensemble, Alison is more than capable of bringing these off.

42a + downtown artspace = ✓

Alison Currie, who has managed to keep me laughing until face and stomach pain despite the absence of my baby, and who will really like the image of tight, laceup gay trackies and “Kiss yer guns Gaz!”, lips smacking biceps and a big superhero “rrragggh!!!” to accompany … anyway, she’s a dancer and choreographer when she isn’t getting me liquored up on Cointreau (last tried with dried mango strips).

She’s currently shacked up in Downtown Artspace along with Adam Synnott, lately of in the bones of children, who is frying circuit boards and tormenting code and others all making an installation to open in a couple of weeks. More dance for me to see. And you too.

42 A – 2nd Stage Development Work in Progress

Downtown Art Space 233 Waymouth st, Adelaide
opening 11 wed 6pm
12-15 thurs – sun; 1-5pm and 7-9pm
come anytime and stay as long as you like….
Free entry

42 a is an interactive installation based work at the nexus between visual Art installation and performance. The work utilises elements of sculpture, dance, video and new media to explore concepts relating to house and home; memories attached to objects, personal relationships within this space, instructions found in the home, and how individuals relate to the physical constructs of a house. As well as notions of home, where that is, and the possibility of creating this space with in one’s imagination.

Alison Currie Choreographer / Director
Annemarie Kohn Video Artist / Performer
Adam Synnott New Media Artist / Dancer
Kel Mocilnik Visual Artist / Performer
Solon Ulbrich Creative Co-ordinator / Mentor
Veronica Shum Dancer
Rachel Fenwich Seconding Dancer