Action/Response is an occasional program that presents new works by a cross-disciplinary selection of artists made in response to actions that describe not only familiar physical movements but also act as rich metaphors for our understanding of the world.
1. Jo Lloyd Noise, 2013 A solo dance performance with headpiece. With Duane Morrison (sound). Audiences should pre-download the audio to their mp3 players at: www.dancemassive.com.au/show/actionresponse/ Performance time: 6pm (8 mins) Location: Victoria/King Street park (with monument)
7. Shelley Lasica Hallo, 2012 A performance where two people exchange an idea inside a contained space; a transaction where movement passes into dancing. With Daniel Newell (performer). Performance time: 6.40pm (10 mins) Location: Aesop, 2 Errol Street
With thanks to the following volunteers: Maya Chakraborty, Nicholas Chilvers, Jonathan Homsey, Alexander Kelvy, Stephanie Pirrie, Ander Rennick, Cassie Smith, Amy Stuart, Inez de Vega, Jake Swinson and Laura Dreyfus, Josh Hook, Anna Parlane, Hahna Read, Klara Kelvy, Joanne Lichti, Sophie Burns, Biatta Kelly, Seb Brown, Georgina Criddle
6. Natalie Abbott Space and fragments, 2013 An investigation of time and space, morphing from one image and experience to another. With Rebecca Jensen and Sarah Aiken (performers). Performance time: 6.30pm (12 mins) Location: Hawke/Errol Street park (with underground WC)
This iteration of Action/Response was commissioned by the City of Melbourne through Arts House and has been supported by the Victorian Government through Arts Victoria.
4. Deanne Butterworth Doublage, 2013 Offering two points and two modes for listening and watching, this work establishes a temporary yet deeply empathetic and intimate relationship with all that we see. With Alexander Kelvy (performer) and Michael Munson (sound). Performance time: 6.10pm (10 mins) Location: exterior, 503 Queensberry Street 5. Tony Yap Re-turning, 2013 A solo performance where the artist returns to sketchy memories of spinning, twirling and rotating as a child living by the sea in Melaka, Malaysia. Performance time: 6.15pm (30 mins) Location: footpath, cnr Errol & Queensberry Streets
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Little Errol St
For more information, please contact us on (03) 9322 3720 or visit artshouse.com.au.
Arts House presents contemporary arts in programs encompassing performance, exhibitions, live art, residencies and other activities that nurture, support and stimulate cultural engagement. We value work in which artists at different stages of their careers, as well as our diverse audiences and communities, are actively involved in creating an imaginative, just and environmentally sustainable global society. Arts House’s programs include two curated public seasons of multidisciplinary work each year. From 2013, approximately half of this work will be selected through a new Expression of Interest process. We seek artists who are responding to the urgent issues of our time in imaginative and surprising ways, taking artistic risks and offering multiple ways for audiences to engage with or co-author their work.
George Johnson Lane
3. Bianca Hester Approaching & departing four grounds, 2013 This event employs steel hoops as devices with which to activate a discontinuous sonic field upon four different surfaces. With Agatha Gothe-Snape and Helen Walter (performers). Performance times: 6pm Raglan Street (10 mins); 6.15pm Lithuania House Ballroom (10 mins); 6.30pm Lithuania House Theatre (10 mins); 6.45pm Arts House Warehouse (10 mins) Locations: Raglan Street; Lithuania House, 45-50 Errol Street; Arts House Warehouse, Little Errol Street
This iteration of Action/Response has also involved the participation of Open Archive. Their documentative response will be live on 30 April and includes a commissioned text by Gideon Haigh. www.action-response.com
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2. Oliver Mann Round and round, 2013 An original composition for voice, guitar and turntables written around the action of turning. Performance times: 6pm & 6.25pm (15 mins) Location: Mr Price’s Foodstore, 502 Queensberry Street
FALLING Saturday 23 March 2013, 6-7pm Artists: A Scratch Ensemble, Alex Akers, Daniel Crooks, Kyle Kremerskothen, Katie Lee, Gabrielle Nankivell, Patrick Pound, Ria Soemardjo, Brooke Stamp, Danae Valenza Writer: Chris Johnston
TURNING Friday 22 March 2013, 6-7pm Artists: Natalie Abbott, Deanne Butterworth, Lane Cormick, Alicia Frankovich, Bianca Hester, Laresa Kosloff, Shelley Lasica, Jo Lloyd, Oliver Mann, Tony Yap Writer: Ramona Koval
Curated by Hannah Mathews.
Bendigo Street Leveson Street
List of works Errol Street
8. Alicia Frankovich Sempre Meno, Sempre Peggio, Sempre Più, 2008 performance documentation Screening time: 6.50pm (5.31 mins) Location: Arts House Foyer 9. Laresa Kosloff Office skate, 2011 Super 8 film transferred to DVD Screening time: 6-7pm (4 mins, loop) Location: front window, Michael O’Brien Catering, 503 Queensberry Street 10. Lane Cormick BPNM, 2013 An installation of pictorial placards that reminisce on the gambling days of the TAB previously located at 109 Errol Street. Presentation time: 6-7pm (1 hour) Location: centre nature strip, Errol Street between Queensberry & Purcell Streets
Action / Response Friday 22 March 2013 Turning
TURNING Artists: Natalie Abbott, Deanne Butterworth, Lane Cormick, Alicia Frankovich, Bianca Hester, Laresa Kosloff, Shelley Lasica, Jo Lloyd, Oliver Mann, Tony Yap Friday 22 March 2013 6-7pm Action/Response is a two-night program that presents new works by a cross-disciplinary selection of creative practioners. Made in response to the acts of ‘falling’ and ‘turning’, their works respond to actions that describe not only familiar physical movements but also exist as rich metaphors for our understanding of the world. Turning on, turning off, turning over, turning round. We can turn a new leaf, turn lead into gold, turn someone on. We can do a good turn, take a wrong turn, wait and see how things turn out. We can turn something in, turn something around and even turn on someone. Turning suggests motion, transformation and a change of direction. Contextualised in a long-form essay by Melbourne writer, Ramona Koval, the action of turning has been responded to by dancers, visual artists and sound makers in a program of new works presented in and around the unique streetscape of the Errol Street precinct of North Melbourne. Whether incidentally encountered by a passer-by or experienced in full as a program of ten works, Action/Response seeks to quietly interrupt the regular rhythms of the everyday with works that provoke pause and reflection; works that consider how we move in the world and how the world moves around us. Curated by Hannah Mathews
We have never seen the shape of our galaxy. But we have sent our Hubble telescope far into the night, beyond the interferences of our atmosphere, and seen pictures of galaxies just like our own. When we look up into the northern hemisphere’s night sky, as we have done since we became beings who could ask ourselves questions, we see the whole picture shift around one point in the blackness, a point we called the pole star. It has helped us navigate the waters of the planet for thousands of years. The movement of stars means the role of the pole star passes from one celestial presence to another — they take it in turns. When finally we could take time-lapse photography of stars during their night trajectories, we saw the smudges of light circling the place in the sky that seemed to stand still. But nothing really stands still. For us to revolve around our sun in three hundred and sixty-five days, we move at one hundred and seven thousand kilometres each hour. Our planet not only turns on its axis to give us the day and nights, but tilts too, giving us the seasons. We see the changes in the coming of snow and rain, in buds blossoming and in long, hot days cooling as the leaves on trees turn from green to red to yellow and brown, from life to death. In death, the chemicals that make up each leaf are returned to the soil to be used again. We are spinning like a top at sixteen hundred kilometres per hour through our days and nights. Our motion gives rise to the winds and to the gyres, the great wheels of water that circulate cold and warmth through paths carved into the seas.
Here on the third planet orbiting elliptically around our sun, in a solar system circling the central core of the Milky Way galaxy twenty-five thousand light years away, we forget we are moving at speed, turning on our earthly axis. Our faces bathed in sunlight, then moonlight, now sunlight again. We are just one of a trillion planets, living in the outskirts of a galaxy of one hundred billion stars. These stars are just like our sun, which spans almost sixty thousand light years across. Ours is a spiral galaxy, with stars scattered in beautiful arms reaching out from the centre. It spins like a children’s toy pinwheel, trailing starlight in its wake. Our sun moves at seven hundred and ninety two thousand kilometres per hour, and we keep up with it on its trip around our galaxy, which takes it two hundred and twenty-five million years. Twenty of these galactic years have passed since its birth. More of the galaxies along our sightline spin towards the left than the right, and no-one knows what set them turning. At the centre of our Milky Way is the point around which all the stars in the galaxy move, a dark core that doesn’t even allow us to see it. It is a black hole so dense, with a large mass and a small volume, that it pulls gas and stars towards it. As they approach its edge, the event horizon, they are swallowed up, turning faster and faster like water being sucked down a drain. So dense is the black hole that not even light gets away from its hold.
The Olmecs of Mexico only used wheels as children’s toys; their their rugged jungle slopes were unsuitable for wheeled carts. Potters turned wheels to form clay vessels. We rolled turned wood pins to make pastry and hand-turned spits to roast meats. Spinning wheels turned fibres into yarn to clothe us. The yarns we spun ourselves turned the long, cold nights into the warmth of shared story upon story. Ovid sang of metamorphoses, Homer’s The Odyssey had Circe turning men into swine. We heard tales of spinning straw into gold, turning frogs into princes and water into wine. Kafka’s Gregor Samsa woke to find himself turned into what the German translates as a ‘monstrous vermin’. Nabakov said he must have been a beetle, as he had wings. The bards had turned for inspiration to the natural world, where caterpillars turn into butterflies, tadpoles into frogs and flowers into fruit. We celebrate fertility with maypole dances, turning around a brightly ribboned pole, which stands for an ancient tree in a forest glade. We turn over the leaves of a book, and over a new leaf when we decide to change the way we behave towards others. If we have turned a blind eye or a deaf ear, or have turned green with envy, we might turn towards those we have turned against in the past. If things don’t go well we can turn up our noses and turn on our heels, turn tail and leave.
Our gravitational attraction to the moon and sun, and the very spin of the earth, generate the rhythmic movements of our seas. They turn from neap to spring tide, their amplitudes and phases of perigee and apogee turning the minds of the ancients to wondering — likewise the minds of fishers and philosophers.
We turn a profit in our commerce and our bodies turn over new cells every day. The turnover of cells means we rarely remain who we were when we began. Our primitive bone-marrow cells become mature and turn our blood into a fighting force against invaders.
Our very blood is tidal, the salt content in our veins is the same as that of the sea. Human females bleed in concert with the phases of the moon; moon, month and menses are all related in our language. At least that is how it seems, until you learn that the oestrous cycle of chimpanzees is thirty-seven days, five days for rats and mice. We are all mammals together under the same sun and moon.
Inside our very atoms, and those that make up every element in the world, electrons turn in a cloudy haze around a nucleus of protons and neutrons. In our simplest hydrogen atom, the centrifugal force of the spinning electron keeps the two particles from coming into contact with each other, just as the earth’s rotation keeps it from plunging into the sun.
Inside the earth’s molten iron core, movements churn out an electric current, generating our magnetic field from internal lava flows. Disrupted by a kind of deep quake, our north and south magnetic poles drift and suddenly reverse, turning upside-down. Some say it is due to the movement of the continents and the action at pressure points between continental shelves. Even our landmasses slide, turning over the surface of the planet. Once people thought that the dinosaurs disappeared in response to such a magnetic reversal, as if they suddenly lost the ability to find their way home, but statistics tell us otherwise.
If we break up the atom even further to look inside, it stops being a hydrogen atom or a helium atom or a sodium atom; it is simply the parts of its sum. It is like a watch that ceases to be a watch when we take it apart and line up all its pieces on a bench. We have the parts for a watch, but it no longer looks like a watch and it cannot tell us the time.
In each cell of our bodies — and those of most creatures great and small — two strands of DNA turn and turn about an axis, like a twisted ladder, coding all of life. As we revolve, we evolve.
On Turning Ramona Koval
wheels, seeding Germanic, Baltic, Slavic, Celtic, Latin, Hellenic, Iranian and Sanskrit tongues. When solid wheels gave way to spokes, lighter wheeled chariots made for speedy victors in battle and pushed languages even farther afield.
The first beings turned slowly into newer ones — homo erectus into homo sapiens neanderthalensis and homo sapiens sapiens, us. Neanderthals made stone tools, probably buried their dead and they cared for each other, evident in skeletons with major healed injuries. Today, in a German Neanderthal theme park you can visit a morphing station, where you can have your photograph taken and digitally altered to recede your chin, slope your forehead and bulge the back of your head. You can turn into a Neanderthal in one holiday afternoon. Unlike us, Neanderthals stopped their spread across Europe when they reached large bodies of water. Some say they didn’t have our thirst for adventure, we who launched ourselves across the ocean in boats, even though we had no idea what might lie beyond the horizon. We turned the wheel to steer our passage as we sailed over the dark, deep waters, and we used it to harness the energy of a rushing stream. Waterwheels turned to mill seeds, crush ore and pound fibre. When a moving stream was not available, we roped oxen to the stone and turned their movements to our production. Pictured on a six thousand year-old clay pot excavated in southern Poland is what might be a cart with four wheels, two shafts and a yoke to harness an animal. The remains of an auroch were found with the clay pot; the horns of this now-extinct animal were worn down as if they had been tied with a rope to a yoke. As we turn over the buried horns in our mind, we wonder how they came to be there, buried with the stories that accompanied them. Horses, which were first domesticated as a source of meat, were ridden and then used to pull carts with solid wheels. Proto-Indo-European tribes became mobile herders and took their language with them on
The Large Hadron Collider at CERN, the European Organisation for Nuclear Research, just outside Geneva, Switzerland is the biggest instrument that humans have ever made. On the twenty-seven kilometre round track, buried one hundred metres deep in the earth and crossing the Franco–Swiss border, two beams of subatomic particles called hadrons are sped up with particle accelerators and shot in opposing directions. When they collide on their journeys around the track, the exploding debris is recorded with particle detectors. CERN is trying to recreate the conditions that began our universe and to detect the particles predicted by our current understanding of the physics of the cosmos. In July 2012, a little piece of history was made when the signature of a tiny particle called the Higgs boson was detected in the mix. These particles are what give atoms their mass and are why mass was formed in the Big Bang, the explosion that created space and made the gas that seeded the galaxies. It sent them turning, turning, turning, hurtling across the darkness, towards the place where all the galaxies in our part of the universe seem to be circling, turning in a dark flow around the Great Attractor and beyond. While here on the third planet orbiting elliptically around our sun, in a solar system circling the central core of the Milky Way galaxy twentyfive thousand light years away, we forget we are moving at speed, turning on our earthly axis, our faces bathed in sunlight, then moonlight, now sunlight again.
Biographies Natalie Abbott is a performer and performance maker. Her first full length show PHYSICAL FRACTALS was commissioned by the Next Wave Festival and is presented as part of the 2013 Dance Massive Festival. She is currently undertaking an Arts House development of her new work, MID-air. Deanne Butterworth is a choreographer and performer who creates solo dance works with strong visual elements and group works with a cross disciplinary approach. Lane Cormick often makes work through endurance-based performance or procedures that appear both impractical or unreasonable and test him both physically and mentally. Lane Cormick is represented by Daine Singer Gallery. Alicia Frankovich is concerned with the idea of spectatorship within performance and exhibition formats, and is interested in outlining the social conditions imbued in and inscribed by particular spaces. She constructs situations that are simultaneously spontaneous and controlled, and often works with untrained bodies - people who play themselves and embody particular professions. Bianca Hester is an artist whose practice is motivated by an exploration of the connection between social space, materiality and embodiment. Her projects are informed by sculptural processes and oriented by an engagement with the unpredictable forces of matter and time. Bianca Hester is represented by Sarah Scout Presents. Laresa Kosloff makes performative videos, Super 8 films, hand drawn animations, sculpture, installations and live performance works. She uses Super 8 film to capture and abstract contemporary scenes of work and leisure, playing with our impressions of the past and assumptions about the present. Ramona Koval is a writer, journalist, broadcaster and editor. Her latest publication is By the Book: A reader’s guide to life (Text) and her latest media venture is The Monthly Book hosted by Ramona Koval @TheMonthly. Shelley Lasica is a choreographer and dancer interested in the context in which dance is presented and how space is occupied. Often working in collaboration with her peers and other art forms, her works have been performed throughout Australia and in cities including London, Manchester, Paris, Vienna and New York over the last 25 years. Shelley Lasica is represented by Anna Schwartz Gallery. Jo Lloyd has been performing, choreographing and teaching dance throughout Australia and overseas since graduating from the Victorian College of the Arts in 1995. She has performed in the works of Shelley Lasica, Chunky Move, Sandra Parker and David Rosetzky and her most recent work, Future Perfect (2011), will be presented as part of the 2013 Dance Massive Festival. Oliver Mann is something of an anomaly in the music world. Working across various musical strands and languages, his bass-baritone is defined by its adherence to the classical canon as much as to its re-imagining. Hannah Mathews is a curator interested in art and its ability to encourage our reevaluation and understanding of the physical and emotional world around us. She works as an Associate Curator at the Australian Centre for Contemporary Art. Tony Yap is a performer and choreographer whose work spans the visual arts, physical theatre and dance. He is committed to the creation of an individual dance theatre language informed by three interconnecting forms: psycho-physical, Asian shamanistic trance and butoh. www.tonyyapcompany.com