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ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT

Inaugural Festival of Live Art Announced for 2014

Gameshows, manicures, secrets, tweens and the Yarra river — live art takes the stage in 2014.

By Meg Watson
December 08, 2013
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Inaugural Festival of Live Art Announced for 2014

Gameshows, manicures, secrets, tweens and the Yarra river — live art takes the stage in 2014.

By Meg Watson
December 08, 2013
  shares

The term 'live art' has always been a bit deliberately vague. Popping up on festival programs for years now, you never quite know what to expect going in. Some kind of experimental theatre? Will you have to participate? It could just be some kind of installation piece — something seemingly innocuous that takes on a new meaning when you stand alongside it. But as of March next year, this wild card of a genre will be stepping into the spotlight. Australia's first dedicated Festival of Live Art has been announced.

It will be no small affair either. Brought to us by the talented people at Arts House, Theatre Works and Footscray Community Arts Centre, FoLA will encompass over 35 events over nearly two weeks in four suburbs around our diverse city. According to the first festival announcement there will be performances in the street, on the website, and even over the phone. An audience for each event will vary from a crowd of 200 to an intimate audience of one. Angharad Wynne-Jones of Arts House says the festival will also be a perfect opportunity to explore the direction of contemporary art as a whole. "[It's] a great way to cast a light on the art form breakers, the risk takers, the mavericks, the socially engaged and the determinedly experimental," she says.

This is understandably a pretty large task, and the three organisers will be divvying up the work in curation. Opening weekend will be run by the Footscray folk and will kick off with an international keynote yet to be announced and a new annual symposium by artists Amy Spiers and James Oliver. The following weekend will be on northern turf at Arts House, and the final week will take audiences to the seaside St Kilda home of Theatre Works.

Though the full program has not yet been announced, we do have some exciting work to look forward to. Performance artist Tristan Meecham will be bringing us a very special game show where 50 people with no performance experience compete on stage to win the host's own possessions. Edinburgh Fringe Festival Award winner Bryony Kimmings will be presenting a scathing satire of tween pop stars with her nine-year-old niece in Credible Likeable Superstar Role Model. Yana Alana will bring us a show from her bed (in the least dirty way possible), there will be art floating by the Yarra on your way home, and even an hourly performance event that features 24 live works over one long-haul day.

Your favourites from this year's Sydney or Melbourne Festival may be popping up too. Tawdry Heartburn's Manic Cures (pictured) is already confirmed. In a 20-minute act that resembles a live-action Post Secret, performance artist James Berlyn takes audience members in one by one, paints their fingernails and exposes any secret they're keeping. Live art really is diverse. We're excited to see what else makes the cut.

The full program for the first Festival of Live Art will be released on February 3.

Published on December 08, 2013 by Meg Watson

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