ABR Arts

Gender Euphoria 

Sarah Walker
Wednesday, 16 October 2019

In 2018, formidable queer, feminist theorist Amelia Jones gave a lecture at ACCA about gender identity in art. She spoke about transness as containing an inherent denial of resolution; as a state of essential complexity. To be transgender was to revel in the space between definitions, the space where identity refused to coalesce into something comprehensible and static. A state of ceaseless becoming.

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The Nico Project 

Dilan Gunawardana
Tuesday, 15 October 2019

After spending more than a decade in New York as a muse and mannequin for a slew of photographers, filmmakers, and musicians, the German model and singer Nico, whose name is paired ubiquitously with The Velvet Underground, decided to stake her own claim as an artist. The soundtrack of the 1960s was becoming progressively angry as the disaster of the Vietnam War unfolded, but Nico was looking inward; she had some things to get off her chest. Her first attempt at songwriting was inspired by nights in Californian deserts with Jim Morrison fucking (violently), eating peyote, and reading English Romantic poetry.

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Anne Frank: Parallel Stories 

Tali Lavi
Friday, 11 October 2019

Earlier this year, not being able to find my childhood copy of Anne Frank’s The Diary of a Young Girl for my eldest daughter, I bought another one. It seemed bigger than I had remembered, but the cover had the same recognisable photo of the demurely smiling Anne gazing somewhere into the distance – a wisp of a girl with distinctive dark features that would have made it highly unlikely for her to ‘pass’ as anything other than Jewish. The book bore a label that seemed to be making a dubious claim: ‘The Definitive Edition’. Was it more definitive than the journal I had read when I was a similar age to the girl who wrote it, as my daughter is now?

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Anthem 

Fiona Gruber
Monday, 07 October 2019

Conversations on a train, scene one: we’re on Eurostar and a white woman and a black man, both young, begin to talk. We know immediately that they are middle-class and have prospects; the clothes and reading matter proclaim it. He identifies himself as an Australian resident in France; she’s an English student.

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Joker 

Dilan Gunawardana
Tuesday, 01 October 2019

Since his creation in Batman #1 in 1940, there have been many attempts to flesh out the psychological make-up of the Joker, chief antagonist to the (arguably more) heroic Batman, in vario ...

Leaf and Shadow 

Des Cowley
Tuesday, 24 September 2019

This year the Australian Art Orchestra (AAO) celebrates its twenty-fifth anniversary. Originally conceived as a jazz ensemble, it has developed – first under the visionary leadership of founder Paul Grabowsky, and now under artistic director Peter Knight – into one of the country’s leading new music ensembles ...

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Oh No! Satan Stole My Pineal Gland! 

Sarah Walker
Monday, 23 September 2019

Oh No! Satan Stole My Pineal Gland! – almost certainly the best title in this year’s Fringe Festival – is a ridiculous yet rigorous work that demonstrates the wonderful agility of fringe theatre in Melbourne. After nearly twenty years in its North Melbourne hub, the Fringe has moved homes to the newly renovated Trades Hall ...

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The Dead Don't Die 

Aaron Nyerges
Monday, 23 September 2019

The Dead Don’t Die is – in a manner of thinking – Jim Jarmusch’s second zombie film. Technically, Only Lovers Left Alive (2013) is a vampire film, but its central character, the depressively immortal Adam (Tom Hiddleston), lords it over ‘the zombies’, his term for the human population, whose ignorance he resents and whose degradation of Earth he fears ...

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Manet and Modern Beauty

Patrick McCaughey
Monday, 23 September 2019

Five years ago, the J. Paul Getty Museum acquired Édouard Manet’s Jeanne (Spring), 1882, for US$61 million – a record for the artist. It was a bold acquisition, for later Manet – he died in 1883 – has never enjoyed the critical esteem of the earlier. Absurdly so, if you recall that the incomparable Bar at the Folies Bergère ...

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Norma 

Rob Holdsworth
Thursday, 19 September 2019

Norma, Bellini’s 1831 two-act tragedy, includes one of opera’s grand soprano roles. Requiring great vocal and acting ability, the role is up there with Lady Macbeth, Brünnhilde, and Turandot. An outstanding Norma arrives infrequently. Rosa Ponsel ...