Get those brain juices flowing and beef up your repertoire of interesting chat, the Museum of Contemporary Art Australia (MCA) is hosting its Conversation Starters: Truth or Dare series this weekend. Packed with over 25 free and ticketed events, the weekend-long program is the second of its kind for the museum, this year inviting visitors to explore the inexactness of truth.
On September 8 and 9, your perceptions will be shaken and your inner lie detector honed, with a lineup of thought-provoking talks, interactive workshops, games, performances and dinners. The series takes cues from artist Sun Xun's work in manipulating image, sound and text, plus the current climate of 'fake news' to ignite conversations on what (and who) to trust.
Start your weekend with a creative writing workshop, led by Paola Balla and then hit a free lunchtime session on learning how to tell a convincing lie (and not get caught), hosted by comedian Michael Hing, illusionist Adam Mada and author Felicity Castagna. Afterwards, ponder the question "When is it OK to lie?" at the interactive Ethics of Truth panel and 'fess up to a lie that you told your parents as a kid at the Don't Tell Mum confession booth.
From 3–4.30pm, join Jay Katz and Miss Death as they discuss the credibility of certain 'otherworldly' conspiracy theories from Sasquatches to life on Mars.
To end the first day, put your senses to the test with a unique three-course meal on the MCA Sculpture Terrace overlooking the harbour. Each course will involve some form of edible trickery (Heston-style) and be accompanied by a glass of wine. Meanwhile, provocateurs will spark conversations across the table about what the truth means to you.
Sunday will see MCA curator Clothilde Bullen explore the truth behind fake Aboriginal art and its impacts, while Hing returns to the stage to teach you how to spot a liar with emotional intelligence expert Eleanor Shakiba. You can also take part in an interactive workshop with artist Aleks Danko which allows you to have a go at controlling and altering newspaper headlines.
For more information on the program or to purchase tickets, visit the MCA website.
Image 2: Kai Leishman.