Art, Sculpture and installations
Photograph: Zan Wimberley Nat Randall 'The Second Woman'

Explore the frontiers of gender, politics and spectacle in this festival of experimental and cross-disciplinary work at Carriageworks

Liveworks festival is the main event in Performance Space's annual program, showcasing local, interstate and international artists pushing the frontiers of art and performance. In 2017, the third edition of of the festival, it reaches further into the Asia Pacific region, with artists coming from New Zealand, the Philippines, Korea and Japan. 

Four of this year's most exciting works, however, come from local artists: Dr Christian Thompson will present a rare performance work called Tree of Knowledge, that draws on his Bidjara heritage; local performance artist Justin Shoulder will present the latest iteration of his Fantastic Creatures series, Carrion; Biennale of Sydney alumnus Agatha Gothe-Snape will present the Australian premiere of her collaborative performance Rhetorical Chorus, commissioned for New York's Performa Biennial; and Sydney performer (and FBi Canvas co-host) Nat Randall will present her acclaimed performance The Second Woman, a hit at Dark Mofo (and our favourite show there). 

One of the key international headliners is Korean dancer, choreographer and performer Geumhyung Jeong, whose works challenge traditional notions of sexuality and dance by extending intimate physical relationships and choreography to inanimate objects. She'll be performing her most famous work, 7 Ways, in which she performs duets with household items including a vacuum cleaner.

Liveworks has had a strong dance focus each year, and one of its previous favourites is returning in 2017: Filippino dancer and choreographer Eisa Jocson (whose Death of a Pole Dancer and Macho Dancer showed in the 2015 festival). Jocson explores the complex ramifications – cultural, personal, social – of popular dance forms by which Filippino's earn a living (such as macho dancing, pole dancing and Disney performances). For Liveworks 2017, she presents a performance lecture that takes the audience on a tour through these different forms, and functions as a kind of summary of her work to date.

The line-up also features works by LabAnino (Philippines), Mark Harvey (NZ), LZ Dunn (VIC), Jen Jamieson (WA), Tetsuya Umeda (Japan), Tully Arnot with Hannah Donnelly (NSW), Angela Goh with Emily Parsons Lord (NSW), and Tristan Jalleh (VIC).

Performance Space artistic director Jeff Khan says, “We try to create a really immersive experience for our audience: at any given moment there might be five or six different things happening – from performances to installations to artist talks or intimate one-on-one experiences – so you can really come and have an adventure through the festival.”

By: Dee Jefferson


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