Performance Space has just announced the program for 2016's Liveworks Festival and if you weren't already, be prepared — audiences don't just sit quietly in the dark any more.
Liveworks is a mental crash-tackle of new and experimental artworks that runs from October 27 to November 6. Artistic director Jeff Khan says this year's goal is to cut through the numbness audiences have developed towards news and ever-present, ever-louder advertising. Ranging over a course of topics and genres, he says the selected works not only challenge audiences, but also establish deep artistic connections and "become a mirror of our own fears and desires."
But you don't cut through numbness by watching Lady Gwendolen pass the cucumber sandwiches. Taiwanese artist River Lin will perform for a single person at a time, one on one, with the unnerving Cleansing Service. The work begins with each audience member being asked to identify a body part they consider physically or emotionally 'unclean'. In the ensuing performance, Lin will attempt to 'cleanse' it for them.
Continuing the program's love for uncomfortable situations, Mish Grigor's The Talk invites anyone and everyone to relive some of the most excruciating discussions she's had with her family about sex. And when we say relive, we mean audience members are given a script, a glass of lukewarm champagne and the role of a family member.
There's plenty more to the program this year, available at Liveworks' website. So saddle up the awkward horse and get going. Art doesn't have time to worry about how comfortable you are any more.