2017

Underbelly Arts Lab and Festival 2017

Lab: 25 September – 6 October

Festival: 7 – 8 October

The National Art School

Underbelly Arts Lab and Festival 2017 featured 21 ambitious new projects spanning installation, performance, dance, sound, visual art, intervention, digital art, radical opera, architecture, activist and participatory practices and everything in between.

Explore the 2017 Underbelly Arts Lab and Festival program below:

Alice Couttoupes

Monument

Alice Couttoupes

Monument

A multi-location installation of detailed sculptures mimetic of the vegetation found in and around National Art School. Made of raw clay, the sculptures will slowly decompose over the duration of the Lab and Festival. Monument explores objecthood, ownership, time and entropy, and invites a conversation around Australian identity and cultural attachment to landscape.


Working primarily in ceramics, Alice is fascinated by the natural – particularly botanical – world. Her work explores the processes of colonial botany and the consequential enduring socio-political and environmental implications.


Alice Couttoupes, Eponymic Materialisms, Unglazed porcelain and steel stand, 2014 Image by Cole Bennetts

Angela Garrick, Nic Warnock and Yarran Gatsby

Complaint Department

Angela Garrick, Nic Warnock and Yarran Gatsby

Complaint Department

Saturday: 2:40pm, 5:50pm

Sunday: 1:50pm

Duration: 45 minutes

Over the past three months, members of the general public have been invited to submit a complaint about anything, no matter how large or small, trivial or important to the Complaint Department. The Complaint Department has received hundreds of complaints. In this concert performance, the Department’s Complaint Ensemble will respond to a selection of these complaints with short, partially improvised compositions.

Want to have a whinge? The Complaint Department will be taking live complaints during the performance. Tweet at @complaintdepartment to participate.


Angela is a musician whose practice examines notions of spatial awareness, performance, collaboration, geographic phenomena and memory.

Yarran is a Sydney based curator, writer and artist and is currently the gallery manager at Alaska Projects.

Nic is the founder of R.I.P Society Records, member of numerous bands, previous Co-Director of the Sound Summit festival and works at Repressed Records.


Complaint Department, Angela Garrick, Nic Warnock and Yarran Gatsby, 2017

Anonymous Migrant

Resonance

Anonymous Migrant

Resonance

Performances: All day installation with performances

In our postcolonial world, sounds and images are constantly, perpetually dislocated from their original source, taking on new contexts and new meanings. Artists Nikki Lam and Sudeep Lingamneni share their experiences of cultural dislocation and memory, combining field recordings and video footage in a mesmeric audio visual installation, accompanied by a series of performances.

Resonance is an echo, a reminder of the ways rituals shift and endure through generations, diasporas, fractured time and space.


Anonymous Migrant is a collective founded by Nikki Lam and Sudeep Lingamneni. Together they explore the dislocation of sound and image in the postcolonial world. Working primarily with visual and sound artists in the Asia-Pacific region, Anonymous Migrant has an evolving practice that is based on collaborations.


Anonymous Migrant, Resonance, 2017 Image by Nikki Lam

Amrita Hepi, Honey Long and Prue Stent

This _ _ _ _ _ _ _ may not protect you but at times it’s enough to know it’s there.

Amrita Hepi, Honey Long and Prue Stent

This _ _ _ _ _ _ _ may not protect you but at times it’s enough to know it’s there.

Performances: All day installation with performances

Saturday: 2:00pm, 5:00pm, 8:00pm

Sunday: 1:00pm, 4:00pm

Duration: 20 minutes

Gentle. Protective. Expansive. Immerse yourself in this giant inflatable dome as it shifts and breathes with the dancers within. Hepi, Stent and Long have created a soft structure to oppose ridgid ones; a place where in-betweeness can be nurtured and flourish. This hybrid installation, dance and photographic work investigates the contradictions in our ideas of utopia, and what new social possibilities might stem from these contradictions.


Creative duo Honey and Prue are multidisciplinary artists whose work is a co-mingling between photography, performance, installation and sculpture. Their work breaks down the constructs of a conscious mind, challenging the viewer’s preconception of reality.

Amrita is a dancer/ dance maker, writer and activist; a Bundjulung and Ngapuhi woman interested in movement as manifested by all bodies and reimagining/creating the greatness that will be WOC first nations futures. Her work and practice sits in the nexus between pop culture and contemporary dance with a focus on intersectionality.


Prue Stent and Honey Long, Membrane, 2015

Boni Cairncross

A Parliament of Owls

Boni Cairncross

A Parliament of Owls

Performances: All day performance

Look up! You’re being watched. Positioned on balconies above the Festival site, an ensemble of scribes are quietly standing witness to the ebb and flow of events unfolding below them: the crowds, the ambiance, moments large and small. Their observations are written and recorded in real time, made visible via screens (can you find them?) that construct a collective yet fragmented archive of the event underway.

Performers: Susie Anderson, Louise Curham, Holly Isemonger, Emily Stewart, Maria White

Designer: Sarah Spackman

Software Engineer: Andreas Steinwachs


Boni Cairncross is an interdisciplinary artist and PhD candidate at UNSW. Her practice explores the influences that shape and direct experiences, with a particular focus on how these moments are mediated by often intangible, complex and overlapping elements. To date, her practice has engaged with performance, textiles, installation and real-time documentation methods. Her research explores cultural constructions of sensory perception and the influence of this on artistic practices. Boni has exhibited and performed nationally at venues such as Ideas Platform at Artspace, Margaret Lawrence Gallery, Performance and PICA, among others.


Boni Cairncross, off the route, 2011 Image by Nick Clifford

Damian Showyin, Jeanette Scanes, Paul Williams and Peter Dudding

Marks in Motion

Damian Showyin, Jeanette Scanes, Paul Williams and Peter Dudding

Marks in Motion

All day exhibition with workshops

Saturday: 2:00pm – 4:00pm

Sunday: 2:00pm – 4:00pm

Williams, Dudding, Scanes and Showyin share a passion for mark making. They are lovers of paint, pastel and any tool with which they can scrawl a line. The act of making is core for each artist, the canvas is a space to capture immediacy, to track momentary gestures, acts and decisions. Enter and experience the energy an artist’s mark can generate.

Marks In Motion is a project facilitated by Studio A, anvorganisation that tackles the barriers that artists living withvintellectual disability face in accessing conventional education,professional development pathways and opportunities needed to be successful visual artists.


Studio A is a supported studio based in Sydney that tackles the barriers that artists living with intellectual disability face in accessing conventional education, professional development pathways and the opportunities needed to be successful and renowned visual artists. The enterprise paves professional pathways for such artists so that they can achieve their artistic and economic aspirations.


 Jeanette Scane, Blue, 2013. Acrylic & posca on paper, 50 x 60cm

Eugene Choi, Marcus Whale and Polyphony

Praise!

Eugene Choi, Marcus Whale and Polyphony

Praise!

Saturday: 3:45pm, 6:55pm

Sunday: 4:20pm

Duration: 30 minutes

Praise! is a performance work for two lead performers, 20-piece choir, two double basses and electronics centred around a setting of Psalm 150. Praise! celebrates the intersection of the sacred and sensual, gothic and divine in Christian traditions of ritual worship.


Marcus is a performer and composer from Sydney. Employing music and other time-based forms, he explores the immersive spectacle of popular media both high-def and lo-fi, playing out puzzling dramas of desire and projection.

Eugene is a performance-based artist whose practice travels between controlled and uncontrolled states by engaging the body in unfamiliar, yet constructed situations, relying on the live response of her physical and emotional body. In her work, a self-made system of geometry becomes integral between the body and object, attempting to achieve equilibrium.

Polyphony is an award-winning community choir based in Sydney’s inner west, known for singing a range of experimental material that is often not sung by other community groups.


Eugene Choi, Body Scaffold (Rest), 20 min performance, 2015 Image by Kalanjay Dhir

Fugitive Moments

On the Bundian Way

Fugitive Moments

On the Bundian Way

The Bundian Way is a 365 km track that follows an ancient Aboriginal walking route from Targangal (Kosciuszko) to Bilgalera (Fisheries Beach). This track follows – and displaces – the traces of human movement, commerce and war for over 40,000 years.

A group of artists and thinkers from different fields spent three days together, walking sections of this track. Each artist has responded to the journey with work created especially for this group exhibition.


Fugitive Moments is collaboration between Barnaby Lewer and Tristan Derátz.

Barnaby has, at various times, been a union organizer, researcher, PhD candidate, and digital campaigner. After completing the MA of Culture, Criticism & Curation at Central Saint Martins, London in 2016 he has been involved in curatorial projects that interrogate the intersection of exhibition making, art, critical theory and history. He is published writer and currently works at Greenpeace Australia Pacific.

Tristan is an artist who explores the behaviour and emotional possibilities of digital technologies. A graduate of Sydney College of the Arts, he also studied under Josephine Pryde at the Universitat der Kunste, Berlin. He was recently artist-in-residence at technology research lab Metalworks by Maxus in New York and works as Digital Producer for MCA Australia.


Fugitive Moments (Tristan Derátz & Barnaby Lewer), Coal River, video projection onto the Newcastle Obelisk, 2015

Gwen Taualai

Tweets from the Underground

Gwen Taualai

Tweets from the Underground

Tweets from the Underground is an interactive installation where Twitter data is captured in real time and performed by a chorus of computer voices. This immersive electronic opera draws parallels between Twitter users and Dostoyevsky’s existential anti-hero to explore contemporary themes of technical, cultural and ideological connection and disconnection.


Gwen is a sound artist and music composer based in Sydney. Gwen’s work includes interactive art, live data sonification and audioreactive visuals, generative music, site-specific sound walks and installations. Gwen creates sound design and original music composition for live performance, film and interactive games, and builds digital musical instruments from repurposed and recycled e-waste products. Through these processes, Gwen investigates the effects of everyday technologies on the contemporary human experience.


Gwen Taualai, Tweets from the Underground, 2017

Harriet Gillies and Natalie Abbott

WATERMELON

Harriet Gillies and Natalie Abbott

WATERMELON

Saturday: 7:00pm

Duration: 4 hours

Caution: This work contains nudity, course language, haze and lighting effects.

This special one-off performance occurs offsite at: The East Sydney Community Arts Centre,
34 Burton St, Darlinghurst.

From the ancient Greek philosopher Parmenides to Satre and Heiddiger, Yves Klein to Marina Abramovic, the concept of The Void has entertained, plagued and baffled humans for
thousands of years.

WATERMELON is a gargantuan attempt to find new ways of understanding what exists; to find new truths in a post-truth world. This endurance performance will take you on a journey through four visually and philosophically different worlds that explore and reflect our experiences of The Void and the many ways it manifests aesthetically, emotionally and politically in our lives IRL + URL.

WATERMELON is an image-driven internet-inspired theatrical spectacle that embraces and ridicules our collective obsession with pop culture and the excesses of internet binge culture as we hurtle forwards and forget everything. It will be like everything and nothing you’ve ever seen before, and everything and nothing you’ll ever see again.


Harriet Gillies and Natalie Abbott work across theatre, choreography and the spaces in between to create aggressively contemporary performance art. Not ephemeral, but visceral and long lasting in the physical memory of an audience.

Harriet and Natalie met at two residencies across 2015/16: Marina Abramovic in residence with Kaldor Public Art Projects in Sydney and SITUATE Art in Festivals at Salamanca Arts Centre in Hobart. They immediately bonded over a shared interest in digital culture and the internet. Their collaboration is centered on navigating the real/tangible world from a digital framework. Digital culture affects their approach to form, material and aesthetic.

They have a joint admiration for hyper-experimental and aggressively contemporary art practices that are unapologetic in their approach to exploring risk, limitations and scale yet remain accessible, entertaining and spectacular. Their main shared art hero/ines to date include Ivo Dimchev, Florentine Holzinger, The Nature Theatre of Oklahoma, Beyonce, Barry Kosky and Marina Abramovic for their varied approaches to performance that speaks loudly across forms and audiences.


Harriet Gillies and Natalie Abbott, WATERMELON, 2017

House of Vnholy

MYTH

House of Vnholy

MYTH

Performances: All day installation with performances

Saturday: 9:10pm

Sunday: 5:10pm

Duration: 30 minutes

Caution: This work contains lighting and haze effects

A performance without performers, MYTH combines text from the ‘Myth of Sisyphus’, theatrical smoke and mirrors and a variable messaging board to re-imagine the spectacle of theatre. Part installation and part performance experience, MYTH captures the feeling of being caught in the transition of a post-traumatic event and the unknown depths of the afterlife.


Matthew Adey is a theatre artist and designer from Melbourne, Victoria. He works under the moniker House of Vnholy specialising in the creation of live performance, set and lighting design, installation and sculpture. Graduating from a Bachelor of Production in Fine Arts at VCA in 2011, Adey investigates the spectacle of the visual image in the theatrical context. He is interested in the exchange and experimentation of the physical embodiment of text and the subversion of the contemporary spectacle through multi-disciplinary art forms. HOV’s performance installations include MONO- , HOMME with Rebecca Jensen, Death Summit at Dark Mofo and The Spectre of Death Looms Large… at Metanoia Live Works.


House of Vnholy, MYTH, 2017

Ivey Wawn

Greyness and Infinity

Ivey Wawn

Greyness and Infinity

Saturday: 1:00pm

Sunday: 12:00pm

Duration: 6 hours

Greyness and Infinity uses observed microbial processes to develop a durational choreography for multiple performers, infinite microbes and the audience. Borrowing from the poetics of microbial transformation and processes of mutualistic symbiosis, Greyness and Infinity makes visible the invisible labour of the microbial world to reconsider and reorder social togetherness towards systems of care, sensitivity and pro-sociality.

Ivey Wawn in collaboration with Lucien Alperstein, Angela Goh, Mark Mailler, Shota Matsumura, Megan Payne, Paul Walker, and Patricia Wood.

Dramaturg: Lizzie Thomson

Greyness and Infinity has been developed with the support of Underbelly Arts, ReadyMade Works and AusDance NSW.


Ivey is an independent dancer working with contemporary practice in a range of contexts. In 2016 Ivey was supported by the Australia Council for the Arts to participate in the DanceWEB Scholarship in the frame of ImPulsTanz, Vienna, and presented work at CRACK Theatre Festival, AirSpace Projects, Shopfront Contemporary Arts and Performance, and at ReadyMade Works (Happy Hour).


Ivey Wawn, Adventure Dances, 2017 Image by Kate Disher-Quill

Jason Phu

A Shrine for the Horse Headed God of Safe Travels and a Shrine for the Pig Headed God of Celebration

Jason Phu

A Shrine for the Horse Headed God of Safe Travels and a Shrine for the Pig Headed God of Celebration

Performances: All day installation with performances

Saturday: 3:15pm, 6:30pm, 9:30pm

Sunday: 12:45pm, 3:30pm

Duration: 15 minutes

Jason Phu will create a large Daoist shrine for the Horse Headed God of Safe Travels (MAN ZOU) and a shrine for the Pig Headed God of Celebration (DU PI). These two gods are not real, he made them up. There is very little representation in contemporary arts of the Chinese Australian diaspora as a culture separate from its mainland China origins.

Phu uses Daoist, Buddhist, Chinese creation myths and stories to convey his experiences of this culture. During the Festival, these shrines will be activated with live calligraphy performances using mops.


Jason Phu is an artist working in installation and the expanded fields of Chinese painting and Chinese calligraphy. Jason studied at COFA (Sydney and NSCAD (Nova Scotia), and has also completed residencies at CAFA (Beijing), DAC Studio (Chongqing), CAP Studio (Chiang Mai) and Organhaus (Chongqing). He has presented solo exhibitions across Australia including at Nicholas Projects (Melbourne), CCAS Gorman Arts Centre (Canberra), Alaska Projects (Sydney) and Ray Hughes Gallery (Sydney). He won the Sulman Prize and received a Freedman Foundation Travelling Scholarship in 2015 which has allowed him to base his practice in China and Australia.


Jason Phu, I pray at ashes of my grandmother and at the photo of my grandfather who I’ve never met. I pray for big chunks of meat, for big bowls of alcohol and for sex. They send me demons to battle, 2016, Image by Document Photography

Josee Vesely-Manning

Black Spring

Josee Vesely-Manning

Black Spring

Performances: All day installation with performances

Saturday: 4:00pm, 7:00pm

Sunday: 12:00pm, 3:00pm

Duration: 60 minutes

A speculative fiction, an alternate universe, a proposed future, an undiscovered planet. Immerse yourself in this installation of large-scale industrial and cosmological objects that examine the relationship between climate change and urban decay.


Josee’s practice is propelled by an interest in “parafunctional” spaces or disenfranchised urban sites such as housing estates, industrial wastelands, drains, tunnels, subways, abandoned buildings, vacant lots and all “terrain vagues”.

Josee Vesely-Manning is currently completing a Master of Arts at SCA interested in forms of material obsolescence, actant matter and magic.


Image by Josee Veseley-Manning

Laurence Rosier Staines

You Can Have it All

Laurence Rosier Staines

You Can Have it All

Performances: All day. Please note this artwork takes one person at a time. Book your slot near the entrance to the artwork to secure your allocated time.

Duration: 15 minutes

Netflix and chill? More like Netflix and thrill! Game of Thrones, House of Cards, Twin Peaks, these days it’s all available at the click of a button. But just imagine: One minute you’re sitting comfortably (and safely) on your couch; the next minute you’ve been plunged behind the television screen…

You Can Have It All is an interactive theatre piece where nothing is as it seems. In a world where freedom means making your own choices, what will you choose?


Laurence is a Sydney-based writer, producer and director. Since 2010 he has helmed six independent theatre shows that have combined genres and crossed mediums. His works have appeared at Adelaide Fringe, Perth Fringe World, Sydney Fringe, Verge Festival, Melbourne Comedy Festival and Sydney Comedy Festival.


Image by Laurence Rosier-Staines

Make or Break

Merch Stand

Make or Break

Merch Stand

Make or Break have teamed up with each artist in the Underbelly Arts program to produce 988 pieces of limited edition merchandise. 3D printed candles, wrist cushions, bronze pickle forks, nihilist baby wear and so much more will be available for purchase during the Festival. What’s more, Make or Break will split all profits between the Festival artists.

This project critiques experimental arts festivals and the increasing productisation of artists’ labour. Look out for the Merch Stand as it roves the Festival site, or check out the online shop (www.merch-stand.org) to purchase a token from your favourite Underbelly Arts project.


Make or Break is an ongoing collaboration between Sydney artists Connie Anthes and Rebecca Gallo. So far this project has taken the form of using galleries as live work spaces; performing personal admin for an audience; co-writing texts; circulating fictional currencies; making books; and facilitating conversations as an alternative to traditional forms of research.


Make or Break, Image by Document Photography

Nana Biluš Abaffy

One hundred and three: International Society for the Creatively Maladjusted

Nana Biluš Abaffy

One hundred and three: International Society for the Creatively Maladjusted

Saturday: 1:20pm, 4:30pm, 7:45pm

Sunday: 12:30pm, 3:00pm

Duration: 60 minutes

Caution: There might be a little bit of nudity in this work.

Part two of the WikiHow on How to Drop Out of Society is about how to survive in the woods. To this we say no. We don’t want to live in the woods right now, and, furthermore, we don’t want to learn, in part three, about how to dig our own animal traps and toilet – what we really want is to stay right here and build our own society.

Join the International Society for the Creatively Maladjusted as they begin preparations for an actionable blueprint for a fully functional new counter society. (Only sensitive people are allowed in.) The entry process will be conducted through a highly competitive talent quest and hierarchical competition for who has the best emotion.

A volatile dance, performed by Nana Biluš Abaffy, Milo Love, Geoffrey Watson SC, Eugene Choi and Marcus Whale.


Nana Biluš Abaffy is an artist with a background in philosophy and a foreground in performance. Nana believes in a totalist approach to artistic endeavour and works through dance, text, play, moving image and social intervention.

Nana is the founding member of two performance outfits: Psychoknot Theatrics: Theatre Labyrinthitis, an experimental play troupe that works to rouse the realm of the performative and herein create total werkplaydances for mixedup reality, and secretively also Secretive Dance Team, an anonymous collective that performs in explicitly illicit spaces and enjoys engaging in ChoreoGraphic acts of extreme tree hugging and site specific protest dancing.


Nana Biluš Abaffy, One hundred and three: International Society for the Creatively Maladjusted, 2017

Pony Express

Sixth Wave

Pony Express

Sixth Wave

ANNOUNCEMENT: Sixth Wave performance by Pony Express at Wooloomooloo Wharf has been cancelled! You can find them roving the Festival site at the National Art School instead

This work occurs off site and involves a short group walk. Please meet 5 minutes before the scheduled performance time at Artspace: 43-51 Cowper Wharf Roadway, Woolloomooloo. 

Make sure you obtain a Sixth Wave wristband from the Box Office or the Information Booth before leaving the Festival site, to gain re-entry into the Festival.

Pony Express are breaking up with the land. Join them on this heart-rending journey as they summon the power of crowds, hot chips and seagulls and cast out to sea. Sixth Wave creates a chaotic ocean choreography that brings to light our human inefficacy in dealing with the impending rising of the seas.


Pony Express is a collaborative duo led by playwright and performance maker Ian Sinclair and transdisciplinary artist Loren Kronemyer. Pony Express work across platforms of media art, live art and transdisciplinary research to create immersive alternate realities. Their work reflects themes of environment, apocalypse and the future.


Pony Express, Sixth Wave, development at Vitalstatistix

Radha La Bia

The Divine Game

Radha La Bia

The Divine Game

Performances: All day installation with performances

Saturday: 2:30pm, 5:30pm, 8:30pm

Sunday: 1:30pm, 4:30pm

Duration: 20 minutes

In The Divine Game, Radha La Bia pickles limes and mangoes on a set stylistically reminiscent of lavish 1960s Tamil devotional films. As she pickles, demonstrating recipes inherited and gleaned from her aunt, Radha regales stories about growing up in a modern matriarchal Indian family in Singapore, weaving together migration, identity, sexuality, gender and the politics of history and family. In this performance, the archiving of culture and familial memory and the pickling of limes and mangoes become one and the same.


Shahmen Suku was born in 1987 in Singapore and arrived in Australia in 2009. He is a performance artist based in Sydney who explores ideas of racial and cultural identity, gender roles, the home and the kitchen, food and storytelling.


Radha La Bia, The Divine Game, Performance by Shahmen Suku as Radha La Bia, 2017 Image by Tim Da-Rin

Shian Law

Social Studies: Peking Opera

Shian Law

Social Studies: Peking Opera

Performances: All day installation with performances

Saturday: 6:00pm, 9:00pm

Sunday: 2:00pm, 5:00pm

Duration: 60 minutes

An ambitious new project by one of Australia’s rising choreographic stars, Social Studies: Peking Opera reinvents traditional Chinese opera for a contemporary context. Part installation, part artist lecture and part community congregation, this epic performance explores the role of Wusheng (male warrior) in Peking Opera to comment on queer diaspora: the cultural, geographical and bodily displacement of queerness.


Shian’s multi-faceted conceptual projects are the result of an adept practice spanning several artistic disciplines including choreography, spatial practice, participatory art, docuentary and screen-based art. Shian works collaboratively to employ hybrid forms and new discursive frameworks wherein the representation of body and the way we experience dance are investigated. Grandeur, intimacy, spectatorship and historicity are recurring motifs.


Shian Law, Body Obscure Object,Video by Alex Culfe, Visual and material context by Debris Facility Pty Ltd, Image by Christine Francis

Sophie Mallett and Siân McIntyre

Island Anthems (Ballads for Occupation)

Sophie Mallett and Siân McIntyre

Island Anthems (Ballads for Occupation)

Performances: All day installation with performances

Saturday: 1:30pm, 4:30pm, 7:30pm

Sunday: 2:30pm, 5:30pm

Duration: 30 minutes

Ballads used to be a popular style of poetry or song, commonly infused with a sense of cultural mythology and national spirit.

In Island Anthems (Ballads for Occupation), Mallett and McIntyre have researched the site of Underbelly Arts Festival (formally Darlinghurst Gaol) to compose a series of contemporary ballads and anthems derived from real and imagined female histories.

Through a series of balcony choir performances and a recorded sound installation in the former quarantining tunnel, this work occupies the site with alternative histories, aiming to resist tired forms of colonialism and White Australia’s use of colonial hardship as a formative block of Nationhood.


Sophie Mallett is an artist exploring sound through the social, and the social through sound.

Siân McIntyre is a Sydney based artist and curator, MFA graduate and APA recipient at UNSW Art and Design. Her practice is concerned with questioning notions of site, place and history in a contemporary Australian context.


Siân McIntyre, Enclosure Movement, 2015. The image shows artists Lucia Giuffre and Chatherine McElhone.

Underbelly Arts Lab 2017

25 September - 6 October

Underbelly Arts Lab 2017

25 September - 6 October

Audiences took a peek behind-the-scenes of experimental art making at the 2017 Underbelly Arts Lab as we lifted the curtain on the creative process! We put together an exciting two-week program of behind-the-scenes Lab tours and evening events from experimental poetry readings to talks that spanned apple genetics and decolonising the dance floor, group chats about envisioning the future and a presentation on the art of listening to the tides.

Behind-the-scenes tours ran Tuesday – Thursday, 6pm – 7pm
Late at the Lab events ran Tuesday – Thursday, 7pm – 9pm

 

Late at the Lab hosted by Runway Experimental Arts
Tuesday 26 September

UA17 artists Jason Phu, Harriet Gilles & Natalie Abbott, Pony Express and Make or Break cracked open the Runway Experimental Art journal archives and reimagined a piece of writing from the past. Each artist chose a piece of writing from the rich Runway archive that spoke to them, their practice and the work they created for Underbelly Arts Festival, remixing it and presenting their take on this piece to the audience.

 

Late at the Lab hosted by Two Up
Wednesday 27 September

What do apples and the art world have in common? The connection was made at Two Up, a talk series that combines two completely unrelated topics in back-to-back lectures. For this special Underbelly Arts edition, Lucien Alperstein presented a talk on apple genetics, and Ayebatonye spoke about decolonising the art world.

 

Late at the Lab hosted by The NOW now
Thursday 28 September

Audiences roamed the National Art School with their ears! The NOW now presented a night of sensational sounds, guiding the audience on an auditory tour through Underbelly Arts artists’ works-in-progress. Crowds wandered between spaces filled with fleets of drums, squads of strings and gaggles of saxophones to explore art through listening.

 

Late at the Lab hosted by Fictions
Tuesday 3 October

“You have a colossal, risky, experimental, strange and wonderful idea for a festival. You hold it to your heart and run the gauntlet of audience expectations, funding and partnership obligations, bureaucratic red tape, rapid gentrification, more paperwork, an overworked and apathetic populace, economic arguments… You emerge… What is the size and the shape of this thing after this shredding? What was lost? What remains? Is it worth fighting for?”

Fictions hosted a futuring workshop at the Underbelly Arts Lab, inviting audiences to inhabit possible festival futures.

 

Late at the Lab hosted by Subbed In
Wednesday 4 October

Sydney poetry and prose powerhouse Subbed In put on their lab coat and fired the literary canon, literally. Late at the Lab hosted by Subbed In was a night of oscillating octets and caustic centos from the apocryphal apothecary as a whirlwind of writers presented their awful, anachronistic alchemy.

 

Late at the Lab hosted by Liquid Architecture 
Thursday 5 October

Running Conversations with Camila Marambio and Astrida Neimanis.

Liquid Architecture’s Late at the Lab event was an evening of coastal listening, sloppy digressions and tidal thinking. This Lab event offered ideas and discussion led by curator Camila Marambio and lecturer Astrida Neimanis, with the goal of opening participants’ ears to a set of subjects: water, rocks, sand, weeds, shells and things that live in them. Ideas rose with the tide during this experimental process of shore-listening, where water and earth are two moments of a
p  a  s   s  a  g  e.

 

Underbelly Arts Opening Night Party

6 October

Underbelly Arts Opening Night Party

6 October

Audiences immersed themselves in sad goth party jams, visceral electronic beats and roaming performances to celebrate the opening night of Underbelly Arts Festival! Bad habits were developed on the dancefloor with Melbourne’s HABITS taking the stage for their only Sydney show, with supports by Gussy and Jikuroux. Underbelly Arts alumni Bhenji Ra and Angela Goh roamed the site with performances.

HABITS (Melb) * GUSSY * JIKUROUX * BHENJI RA * ANGELA GOH–

Friday 6 October
6 – 10pm
The National Art School, Cell Block Theatre