IMAGES IN ORDER OF APPEARANCE Angry Indian Godesses - What happens when a group of women, sick of inequality, get really, really angry? This film explores the raw power of a group of intelligent, awesome, modern, Indian women. The Pass - Russell Tovey impresses as a closeted soccer player. Seat in Shadow - International Premiere - A fresh look at love and acceptance in an intergenerational friendship set in Scotland. Something Like Summer - World premiere - Featuring original songs, this is a special coming of age film. Calamity Jane - Come dressed as a cowboy or cowgirl and sing-a-long to onscreen lyrics with Doris Dayâ€™s Calamity Jane in the 1953 queer cult classic. Ovarian Psychos - SXSW Film Festival â€“ Join the crew of bicycle-riding women of colour, as they hit the streets of LA to protest violence against women. Out of Iraq - Following the lives of LGBTIQ people living in a warzone, this is at once a love story and a subtle indictment of the refugee processing system. For full program and tickets - queerscreen.org.au
CONTENTS 24TH MARDI GRAS FILM FESTIVAL
Queer Screen ...........................................................................................
Ive Sorocuk ..............................................................................................
DOUBLE DATE NIGHT: EPISODE 3
Yung Victoria ..........................................................................................
TRAPPING THE ISLAND TIDE: THE SCULPTURE OF JON EISEMAN
Jennifer Choat .........................................................................................
BRENTLEY FRAZER: SCOUNDREL DAYS
Social Work ... ........................................................................................
Far Superior ...........................................................................................
FINDING THE ART IN PHUKET: DANCING WHEN THE BUILDING IS ON FIRE
Anthony S. Cameron .............................................................................
02 15 16
18 24 30
COVER: King Cobra, A-list cast including James Franco, Christian Slater, Alicia Silverstone, and Molly Ringwald tell the true story of gay porn star Brent Corrigan. Part of Queer Screen’s 24th Annual Mardi Gras Film Festival, 15 February – 2 March 2017 -
For full program and tickets - queerscreen.org.au
Issue 142 FEBRUARY 2017 trouble is an independent monthly mag for promotion of arts and culture Published by Trouble Magazine Pty Ltd. ISSN 1449-3926 EDITOR Steve Proposch CONTRIBUTORS Ive Sorocuk, Molly Daniels & Juliette Strangio, Jenn ifer Choat, Anthony S. Cameron, love. GET from AppStore FOLLOW on issuu & twitter SUBSCRIBE at troublemag.com READER ADVICE: Trouble magazine contains artistic content that may include nudity, adult concepts, coarse language, and the names, images or artworks of deceased Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander people. Treat Trouble intelligently, as you expect to be treated by others. Collect or dispose of thoughtfully. DIS IS DE DISCLAIMER! The views and opinions expressed herein are not necessarily those of the publisher. To the best of our knowledge all details in this magazine were correct at the time of publication. The publisher does not accept responsibility for errors or omissions. All content in this publication is copyright and may not be reproduced in whole or in part in any form without prior permission of the publisher. Trouble is distributed online from the first of every month of publication but accepts no responsibility for any inconvenience or financial loss in the event of delays. Phew!
This comic first appeared in Trouble March 2013
web comedy series by Molly Daniels & Juliette Strangio
DOUBLE DATE NIGHT: Episode 3 Rileyâ€™s date, Toby, is upbeat and psyched to be out and about. Adelia seems like a perfect match for Vic, being flirty and not into commitment, but is annoyed when she realizes theyâ€™re not going out tonight. Starring Laura Buskes as Vic, Molly Daniels as Riley, Tiana Hogben as Chelsea, Hayden McKertish as Noah. Guest starring Simon McCulloch as Toby and Rekha Ryan as Adelia visit Yung Victoria on Youtube
Trapping the Island Tide: The Sculpture of Jon Eiseman
by Jennifer Choat
Shifting Landscape, 2016
“But I don’t want comfort. I want God, I want poetry, I want real danger, I want freedom, I want goodness. I want sin,” wrote Aldous Huxley in Brave New World. He was a gifted man. One who had an astute ability to express the complexities of human existence within a single passage. A skill seen all too rarely. This clever bundling of experiences is what comes to mind when in the presence of Jon Eiseman’s bronze sculptures. His whimsical compositions of boats, birds and lone figures immediately cast one’s imagination out to sea—towards the solitary shores of coastal Tasmania, where the artist often resides. A harmony of playful qualities amongst the sombre, Eiseman’s art appears to balance on the tension between life and death, personified through dreamlike landscapes. “I’m attracted to, what some would say is magic realism, for others surrealism—things that are very unusual,” the artist explains. “To get those strange ideas through your mind and to see them unfolding from a lump of wax, coming into a finished work to me is a magical process.” Eiseman’s sculptures grapple with the space between the conscious and unconscious—symbolically exploring the ways in which we engage with truly being alive and, conversely, how to contemplate death. “There’s a lot of reference to a spiritual journey. The spiritual journey happens while you’re alive, because of the unknown factor that there could be an afterlife,” says the artist. A raw, ephemeral quality is also at play on Eiseman’s bronze stage, the primordial notion of soul-searching, “I think we all find ourselves over time in one way or another, whether it’s through nature or the work that you do. It’s part of a self-discovery.” Even with the desire to be an artist from a very young age, Eiseman began his art practice as an adult with substantial life experience behind him. “Art was always an undercurrent and then, life takes over. You have children, you get diverted,” the artist reflects. “It was when I went to New Zealand for a couple of years—we bought an old school bus and travelled around—and I saw the Maori art, which was so powerful. When I returned to Australia I started carving wood, and that brought back all of those creative ideas and I kept going from there.”
Trapping the Island Tide / Jennifer Choat
The Coming Storm, 2016
Echoed by his own life story, Eiseman’s delicately patinated bronzes capture the essence of a universally understood longing for meaning. While typically small in stature, these poetic sculptures suggest a landscape as vast as a starless sky, often centred around a sole contemplative figure making his connection with nature. This rich layering is featured in works such as Searching for my Soul (2015), presenting a man drifting towards an otherworldly structure, which houses an intriguing cast of a women’s face—a suggestive symbol, tantalisingly offering thoughts about mother nature, God and one’s soul-mate. The creative process itself seems to be a spiritual experience for the artists, saying, “When I’m in my workshop and I sit out there for hours moulding wax, my brain drifts into a meditative state.” An art school veteran—having worked at Monash University in the sculpture department for ten years after completing his Master of Fine Arts—Eiseman knows the ins and outs of the art game and is no stranger to discipline, “When I was a student I was first in and last out,” he says. “I was very driven. At one stage I was even looking around to see if there was a place that I could sleep overnight in order to get in earlier to work. It was a very intense and passionate time for me.” Represented by Flinders Lane Gallery, Eiseman now dedicates himself to his sculptural practice full time. “I think being an artist is one of the hardest things you could possibly do,” he says. “It’s tough on relationships, finances, lifestyle… but it’s damn rewarding at the same time on a deeper level. I don’t think, once you’re into it, that you can really leave. You’re there one way or another, in various degrees, for the rest of your life, which is exciting—There is no retirement plan for art.” LINKS: Flinders Lane Gallery, Jon Eiseman Instagram
Searching for my Soul, 2015
“The case for E-Prime rests on the simple proposition that ‘isness’ sets the brain into a medieval Aristotelian framework that makes it impossible to understand modern problems and opportunities.” (Robert Anton Wilson).1
At a tender age, while attending Primary at Greenvale State School in Northwest Queensland, Brentley Frazer learns the meanings of the words suicide, rape, jacking off, growling out, and a number of common swears, with which he promptly attempts to shock his parents. His parents belong to a Protestant, Anti-Trinitarian cult called The Truth. He remembers his own circumcision. Soon, while part of a rebellious schoolyard gang called The Wreckers, he discovers tobacco, alcohol, marijuana, amphetamines, pornography, madness, family violence and death. Frazer’s first long-form work, Scoundrel Days, is a memoir that employs a literary constraint known as English Prime, or E-Prime, as a method to overcome the “static hum of reflection” ... “with an adult voice reflecting back on childhood, telling the viewer what the characters are thinking and feeling.”2 This constraint, which prohibits use of the copula (the verb ‘to be’ and it’s tenses, including the words am, are, be, been, being, is, was and were), has proven highly effective in providing Frazer’s first person present narrative with a sense of immediacy, and strength of connection to the characters and events portrayed. The book is brutal at times yet articulated with a poet’s voice. Importantly, it stretches itself occasionally beyond the purely personal account to comment on the social and political aspects of Australian life: “They stand around on their own side of their picket fences saying things like Oh, the Abos, they don’t participate ... if only they’d stop drinking and integrate. You see the irony, people talking about integration over fences.” 4
How do your values differ from those of your family? Brentley Frazer: I value making art and enjoying life very highly. Iâ€™m not sure art rates a mention in my familyâ€™s value system. Do you have a favourite family story? BF: There are plenty of stories including a great grandmother who was ambidextrous and could write two different letters at the same time, a great uncle or something that invented the can opener, and the time we all got kidnapped by aliens. What do you hope for? BF: Personally, to live long and prosper and die before my children; and for the place we call the world, Iâ€™d love all the animals to play nicely for a change. What do you think is your main purpose in life? BF: Bill Hicks and Buddha explained to everyone that life is just a ride and Einstein proved time is relative, but no-one wants to believe them. Do you think its ok to lie? BF: Truth is the most important thing we have, so I try to conserve it. What does freedom mean to you? BF: The realisation that there are no gods and no masters in the real world and that the real world is a savage garden full of people who are half animal and half angel. As Mike Tyson said: everyone has a plan until they get punched in the face. Bvlgari Belissima / Inga Walton
What do you think are the most important social issues today? BF: The rise of egomaniacal lions and fascist idealism appealing to their prides. Do you think things happen for a reason? BF: Yes . . . but for not for a purpose. What beliefs do you have that you think will never change? BF: That every humanimal alive is divine and fallen. Do you believe in the supernatural? BF: Just because you believe something doesn’t mean it’s true. Is any religious text important to you? BF: Yes, Flowers of Evil by Charles Baudelaire.
“... the real world is a savage garden full of people who are half animal and half angel.” What do you like the best about your body? BF: It’s three-dimensional . . . it must suck being a cartoon. What do you think would be the best thing about being the opposite gender? BF: The ability to judge the male human harshly without appearing a traitor. Who is the best teacher you have ever had? BF: Some withered beaten old person of indeterminate gender at a bus stop in the middle of nowhere who said to me that no matter what any god, master or holy book says, knowing the truth can only happen in your own experience. 4
Have you ever been lost? BF: I feel lost in this stolen nation in which I was born. I recently had a collection of poems published, which I titled Aboriginal to Nowhere. According to a Google exact phrase search, I am the first person in history to write those three words together. I think I articulate how lost I feel quite well in that book. What was your favourite book as a child? BF: The Adventures of Tom Sawyer. If I asked a good friend of yours what you were good at, what would they say? BF: Something clichĂŠ because you put them on the spot. What stays the same in your life, no matter how much other things change? BF: My joie de vivre and my inability to pronounce French words. BRENTLEY FRAZER is an Australian author whose poems, prose and academic papers have been published in numerous national and international anthologies, journals, magazines and other periodicals since 1992. He holds a MA (writing) from James Cook University and is completing his PhD (experimental creative non-fiction) at Griffith University. He is also a lecturer at Griffith University and the editor-in-chief of Bareknuckle Poet Journal of Letters. He lives in Brisbane. Scoundrel Days will be released in March 2017 as a C-Format Paperback, 312pp, $29.95 - brentley.com
FOOTNOTES: 1 Wilson (1990:98) as quoted in Brentley Frazerâ€™s Creative Writing with English Prime. 2 ibid.
1. John Akomfrah, Vertigo Sea 2015, 3-channel HD video installation, 7.1 sound, 52 mins. © Smoking Dogs Films; Courtesy Lisson Gallery, London. John Akomfrah, A Perth International Arts Festival event supported by Visual Arts program partner Wesfarmers Arts, John Curtin Gallery Curtin University, Building 200A, Kent Street, Bentley, Western Australia, 7 February – 30 April 2017 - johncurtingallery.curtin.edu.au 2. Ben Ali Ong, And his is the wonder that’s keeping the stars apart, 2016, archival pigment inkjet print, edition of 5 + 2 AP, 60 x 40 cm. Ben Ali Long: This Flood of Love Drowned Me, Artereal, 747 Darling Street, Rozelle, Sydney, NSW, 1–25 February 2017 - artereal.com.au 3. Michael Doolan, Prince’s Castle 2012, ceramic, wood, polymer, auto enamel, 34 x 40 x 25 cm. Courtesy of the artist and Michael Reid Sydney + Berlin. World Without World, Castlemaine Art Museum, 14 Lyttleton Street, Castlemaine, Victoria, 15 January – 26 February 2017 - castlemainegallery.com 4. Luke Cornish (Elk.), Road to Damascus 2017, sublimation print and aerosol on brushed aluminium, 40 x 60cm. Luke Cornish (ELK.): Road to Damascus, Nanda Hobbs, Level 1, 66 King Street, Sydney, NSW - 2 – 10 February 2017. This exhibition will travel to the Damascus Opera House, Damascus in March, 2017 - nandahobbs.com 5. Robin Hungerford, Same As It Ever Was (Educational Prop) 2016, fibreglass, acrylic paint. Courtesy the artist. Nice One Picasso, SCA Galleries, Sydney College of the Arts The University of Sydney, Kirkbride Way, off Park Drive, Lilyfield, NSW - 9 – 11 February 2017 - sundaypunch.com.au 6. Heather Shimmen, Swamp lady 2008-16, linocut and organza on paper, 191 x 112 cm, edition 15. & 7. SOS 2015, linocut and organza on paper, 112 x 72 cm, edition 25. Heather Shimmen: Time Warps, Australian Galleries Melbourne, 28 Derby Street Collingwood VIC, 21 February – 4 March 2017 - australiangalleries.com.au 8. Hiroki Morimoto (Goma), is being brought to Sydney for the first time by The Japan Foundation, Sydney, for a special performance of his didgeridoo music for one night only on Saturday, 25 February. Born in Osaka, Japan in 1973, Goma first encountered the didgeridoo in 1994 when his friends brought one home from England’s Glastonbury music festival. Three years later, when he was working in a didgeridoo shop in Darwin, an Aboriginal friend took him to Arnhem Land where he studied the instrument under master Djalu Gurruwiwi and went on to become the first non-Indigenous person to win the Northern Land Council prize at the 1998 Barunga Didgeridoo Competition. During this time, Goma lived with the Yolngu people and was adopted into the Galpu clan. Goma will perform in Sydney only, Saturday 25 February, 2pm (90 minutes), John Painter Hall at the Australian Institute of Music, 1-55 Foveaux Street, Surry Hills, NSW, FREE admission. Bookings essential via eventbrite.com.au
FINDING THE ART IN
Phuket Dancing When the Building is on Fire by Anthony S. Cameron
First up, I’ve got a confession to make. Sidecar is undergoing a transformation. Little did I know how sensitive Sidecar was to her appearance, but it seems that my previous remarks weren’t appreciated. Let’s just say that there are better ways to get your point across than spontaneously collapsing mid-corner, mid-journey and leaving your owner (dare I say that?) stranded on the side of the road. Let’s just say that it might have been better if there was the odd creak of distress before the explosion into flat out not playing the game. Just saying. Was it the second police check that piled on the stress, Sidecar? Was it the police boots roughly kicking your tyres and peering at your paperwork and the heads shaking in disbelief? I know you weren’t fooled either. We’re old pros at this shit, we understood this was part of the game for an ex-pat farang in Phuket. I guess there is a cost to living in paradise, but to make this many donations to the police fund was getting ridiculous. Dollar signs on motorbikes, that’s how an old ex-pat referred to the way it works here. OK, no problems. As you can probably tell, Sidecar and I are going through a bit of a rough patch, and given what happened last time, I better be careful what I say. What I can say, and I think Sidecar would agree here, is that over maintenance may have been why Maailay and I were now making our way to the nearest house or shop or 7-11 to get help. But really Sidecar? To drop your bundle on that mountain, 30 kms from home, on the last remotest sliver of island left with jungle and bugger all development? And to do it so spectacularly, I mean, the way you just sort of detached yourself, peeling open from the front to the back, sidecar going one way and bike the other? I mean, really. As you can see I am having a few residual anger issues, but I will not let it derail the reason we are here. And that is of course to entertain the shit of you lovely folk, and take you on my twisted journey in search of art as I find it scattered along the beaches and strewn across my path like beacons in an ocean of darkness. So, to finish off and also fulfil my obligations to my counsellor, I would like to inform you that Sidecar is being rejuvenated. Sidecar will be stripped of the rust that led to her early demise like a new prisoner being hosed down before
Finding the Art in Phuket / Tony Cameron
being given the orange overalls. Sidecar will then be re-painted in a fetching blue and, between you and me, I have also been making tentative enquiries about a canvas roof for Sidecar, in blue of course. One step at a time, that’s what the counsellor says. When people think of Phuket, the images that come to mind are of tropical beaches, five star resorts and great nightlife. Throw in a Tuk Tuk ride and a potentially embarrassing moment with a katoey (ladyboy) and you’ve nailed it. And if I was interested in trying to convince you that there is an art to rampant nihilism at the expense of the environment, then I would probably be working for a travel magazine and using the words ‘amazing’ and ‘incredible’ a lot. Luckily for us all, I’m not. So, with that in mind, I present to you my latest, and some would say most gothic subject matter to date: The Art of Abandonment. The most arrestingly tragic and beautiful buildings I have ever seen lay scattered through the jungle landscape like forgotten guests at a party. They are the dishevelled, neglected, abandoned half-built resorts that never got into the brochures. They are the bastard children of a developer’s worst nightmare: not paying enough to the right people to make the problems go away. They are the great idea turned to dust and crumbling concrete. There is a weird silence in these places, a silence laced with expectation. It’s like everyone who fled when the authorities arrived that day will be back at any moment. Often they are perched on cliffs overlooking the Andaman Sea, in the middle of a National park of pristine jungle, the boundaries of which seem very elastic and easy to shift in Phuket. Sometimes they are the first tentative steps of a shopping district that has since exploded all around it while it crumbled, unfinanced, at the feet of another street of excess. Often they are boarded up and have a security dude who sleeps through most of his life at the front gate and turns away the odd casual onlooker. But there is nothing casual about my interest, nothing casual at all. I have found some beauties over the years, as you can see. Outside of their obvious decrepit charm, how good a place would these be for a trance party? A photo shoot? Shit, you could probably even shoot a zombie movie here. A horror movie festival perhaps? I can see the black and white images blasted up on a mouldy white wall as I write, or thrown at the façade with the same casual abandon that gave these buildings their beauty in the first place.
Finding the Art in Phuket / Tony Cameron
For there is something incredibly poignant about these places for me. They are like post-apocalyptic sculptures to my eye, pointing accusingly at the times of excess with a dirty finger, the times we all thought were never going to end as we sipped our drinks and stared out at the South East Asian soup stretching out in front of us like another dream gone wrong. Except we haven’t had the apocalypse yet, have we? So the dance continues, the only way for me to make sense of it all, with the sound of my soul screaming as a backbeat. If you’ve ever sat in an abandoned half-built resort and considered it luxury accommodation, then you’ll know what I mean. And sometimes, if I’m lucky, I get to dance with ghosts. ANTHONY S. CAMERON is an Australian ex-pat living in Phuket, Thailand, and the author of two novels, Driftwood (2014) and Butterfly on Bangla (2015). Born in Melbourne, he escaped in his early twenties to central Victoria, where he designed and built a sustainable house, raised two sustainable children. His books are available on Amazon here. Pics by Anthony Cameron.