Underbelly


Hi guys! So I have a lot of back up posts to get to, but for now, I’m just going to tell you about my weekend.

It was good! There was this:

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Bye!

 

Well….. I guess I should expand a bit.  (Although I was very tempted to just let you fill in the blanks as to why we were out at an industrial complex with pajama-ed flag holders).

So, Grant and I went to an art festival called Underbelly Arts that was held on Cockatoo Island (which I think used to be a prison, a working camp, a girls reformatory, and a naval ship facility (amongst other things) and is now mainly used for camping and historical trips).  The artwork was all pretty fun and silly – but the amazing abandoned industrial buildings and  whole idea behind the festival called for a fairly high level of experimental silliness.

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Like life-sized rock ’em sock ’em robots for example.  Apparently the artists’ arms were hooked up to electric shocks that let them know how they should move. The kids there LOVED it – but it was sort of scary to see them completely forget that real people were hitting each other right in front of them (because of them) and just get into playing a ‘game’.  #kidsareintense,yo (that’s for you, Bollmers! I would never *really* use hashtags). (#comeonyouguys!)

So the set up was that over 80 artists spent a week on the island workshopping and creating new works, which were then shown over two days.  To get to the island we got to take the ferry for the first time.  Sometimes I forget that I live in Sydney, and then this guy pops up into view:

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Oh hai, Sydney Opera House

Sydney Opera House! As seen in undegrad architecture books and America’s Next Top Model!

It is supposedly winter here, but the ferry ride was warm and sunny.

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There was a food truck called the Veggie Patch that Grant and I had been meaning to try there, and it was the best veggie burger I’ve had. ever. I’m trying to take less pictures of food (I know) so I won’t bother you with the visual, but very tasty folks, very tasty indeed.

Oh…… ok:

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Lets look at some art:

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There was a building where two guys were doing a sort of DJ set / local access cable-esque show/ video art camping (?) project. They had several rooms in which their ‘show’ was being projected and manipulated, and then the room in which they were filming that anyone could walk into and interact with.  It was fun to keep checking in on them throughout the day and night as they became tired and started running out of things to say.  The set up also looked like what I (for some bizarre reason with no actual backing, sorry Daniel!) imagine is pretty much every Saturday night of my brother’s life in art school:

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There was also a building dedicated to the idea of a city in decline – you walked through some video projections, and some of the abandoned building (the inner 12 year old in Grant thought it was funny to take this architectural detail:

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Once you got to the ‘city’ itself, you could choose a role to play.  These included rioter, rebuilder, historian, and …. I forget the rest.  Grant and I chose to be rebuilders, but all we got was some tape, and guess what? A LOT of people chose to be rioters.  It was frustrating, we were undersupplied, I think we learned something? Also we got hats:

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Grant’s favorite pieces was called Tableau Vivant, and it consisted of lots of candy (shaped into large horses, domes, etc) and costumed characters sitting at a table.  There were rumors that they were going to destroy and eat everything at the end, but Grant and I are old now, and left way before that could happen.

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Lets look at the island!

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We ended the night with a flag ceremony from a work called 110% – they had been marching around the festival all day.  Very fun, very silly in the best of ways.

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Oh, we actually ended the night with a performance art / alternative comedy show called Cab Sav.  I can’t remember or find this guys name, but he was the best.  Although it seemed Grant and I were the only ones laughing audibly. I mean who doesn’t like a good Death of a Salesman joke?

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~ by gakather on August 6, 2013.

One Response to “Underbelly”

  1. […] love of art in general, and Cockatoo Island in particular (you may remember it from my post on the Underbelly Art Festival last year), drove me to partake in some biennale related festivities.  In particular, the Biennale […]

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