Performance Space is a living, breathing organism of performativity, having birthed and nurtured generations of experimental creativity since its inception. As Performance Space turns forty this year, they reactivate the time machine to consider a history of radical artists, practices and thinking. Liveworks 2023 unpacks the archive to consider the impact of time on art, actions, ideas and the bodies that carry and move culture forward.
Over forty years Performance Space has reflected and responded to the times, acting as a beacon of artistic risk and experimentation during a hurtling era of great cultural, political, social and technological change. To celebrate and acknowledge the significant influence Performance Space has had on the national cultural ecology, they have visioned a program that reflects an unwavering commitment to supporting work that has forged the future of contemporary practice.
By looking to the future through the lens of the recent past, their anniversary program, OF THE TIME, surveys the communities, collectives, shapeshifters and storytellers who form the beating heart of Performance Space, through a curated mix of work, old and new.
OF THE TIME proudly presents new works by Rainbow Chan 陳雋然, Brooke Stamp, and Latai Taumoepeau and Rosanna Raymond. Significant and well-loved umbrella programs of the past—Antistatic, cLUB bENT and Nighttime, have been reborn in the present with a dynamic mix of legendary archival works remounted and revisioned alongside next-gen artists and ideas. Performance Space’s commitment to the moving image is honoured with a return of archival ReelDance works and a video art survey, Channels and Spells—taking cues from a popular exhibition series of the past called ‘Video Spell’. Artist Elvis Richardson transforms the towering walls of the Carriageworks’ Public Space into a work that reviews, remixes and reimagines the Performance Space archive as a backdrop for the grand reunion. Other program highlights include Crime Writers featuring a cast of incredible performers, and Barbara Campbell’s Night 1001, a revisitation of the final evening of her epic durational work 1001 nights cast (2005-08).
While OF THE TIME reflects on the past forty years of Performance Space, they hope the program catalyses and ignites conversations about the next forty years of this organisation so many artists and audiences have called home.
— statement by Rosie Dennis and Daniel Mudie Cunningham, Guest Co-Artistic Directors and Performance Space alumni
Feature image: The Bridal Lament by Rainbow Chan will premiere for Liveworks 2023 at Carriageworks. Photo: Capsule48
From top: Latai Taumoepeau and Rosanna Raymond; Brooke Stamp. Photo: Christian Nimri; Rosalind Crisp. Photo: Lisa Roberts; Barbara Karpinski and Lotus Love. Photo: Heidrun Löhr