Articles on Arts review

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Jake Arditti (Nero) in Coronation of Poppea: the production is a haze of drug-fuelled violence, erotic drive, and dog eat dog power plays. Brett Boardman

Pinchgut’s Poppea plays hedonism, violence and passion to the hilt

The Monteverdi opera exploring passion in ancient Rome has been transposed to a contemporary gangster setting in a new Sydney production.
Ngathu, in Bangarra’s Ones Country, is a brilliant combination of the contemporary and traditional, telling the story of the ngathu, or cycad, in Arnhem Land. Photo by Daniel Boud

In Bangarra’s Ones Country, new voices show the many faces of Indigenous Australia

Bangarra’s current season of three new works, Ones Country, is uneven in parts but worth seeing for the diversity of Indigenous stories from some new choreographic voices.
Sabbia Gallery - Alison Milyika Carroll working on a pot at Ernabella Arts ceramic studio, 2017. Photo Ernabella Arts, Courtesy of Sabbia Gallery

All fired up: Clay Stories is a triumphant display of contemporary Indigenous ceramics

Clay Stories, a travelling exhibition, showcases ceramic art from Indigenous artists across the country. It is a triumphant display of specific stories and Dreamings, standing against cultural and political amnesia.
Installation view of Del Kathryn Barton: The Highway is a Disco at the Ian Potter Centre: NGV Australia, 17 November 2017 – 12 March 2018. Photo: Tom Ross © Tom Ross

Del Kathryn Barton explores powerful female sexuality but reproduces the male gaze

The paintings in Del Kathryn Barton's new show at NGV Australia are visually stunning and painstakingly executed. But the women depicted are often de-personalised objects or headless cauldrons of destructive passion.
Jason Mamoa as Aquaman and Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman are the best things about Justice League. Atlas Entertainment, Cruel & Unusual Films, DC Comics

Wonder Woman and Aquaman are the only charismatic leads in Justice League

The makers of Justice League embed the film in a post-9/11, post-global warming, post-Brexit, post-Trump context. But it is loud and disappointing with some genuinely unimaginative action sequences.
In Per Te (For You), the circus troupe Compagnia Finzi Pasca offers its audience an acrobatic garden of remembrance. Compagnia Finzi Pasca

Per Te: a garden of earthly delights

The production Per Te, by circus troupe Compagnia Finzi Pasca, seeks to reaffirm our humanity in face of an often cold and capricious world.
Dan Sultan played a defiant version of Midnight Oil’s The Dead Heart at 1967: Music in the Key of Yes. Prudence Upton

Celebrating the songs of Australia’s civil rights movement

From My Island Home to Treaty, Indigenous musical luminaries gathered in Sydney on Tuesday to sing classic songs marking the fiftieth anniversary of the 1967 referendum.
Robert Lepage explores his past, and the notion of memory, in his autobiographical show 887. Supplied

In 887, Robert Lepage has built a memory palace out of theatre

We all store parts of our memory outside of our head: in our phones, our computers and our friends. In 887, Robert Lepage brings his memory to life in a gloriously intricate one-man production.
Rika Hamaguchi from the Bangarra Dance Theatre performs at the culmination of the barrangal dyara exhibition. Photo Peter Greig/Kaldor Public Art Projects

Review: barrangal dyara (skin and bones) was made flesh

Jonathan Jones uses Aboriginal shields to create a skeleton of Sydney's Garden Palace, destroyed by fire in 1882. In song, dance and sculpture, he celebrates what has been lost and rediscovered.
Cindy Sherman was the subject, costume designer, make-up artist and photographer for the large-scale images showcased in a new retrospective. Detail: Untitled #466. Image courtesy of Cindy Sherman and Metro Pictures, New York

Here’s looking at: Cindy Sherman ‘Head Shots’

Cindy Sherman understands how people perform for the camera. Her art is a portrait of human vulnerability.
Dancers create spiralling, flowing patterns in Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker’s Vortex Temporum at the Sydney Festival. Courtesy of the Sydney Festival.

Spirals within spirals: Vortex Temporum at the Sydney Festival

Dance and music move together in Anne De Keersmaeker's new work at the Sydney Festival. Erin Brannigan was able to watch this layered and intricate performance come together in Berlin.
Set in what seems like an eternal dusk, Tangerine is breathtaking in its beauty and garishness. Images courtesy of MIFF

From iPhone to iFilm: the queer experience of Tangerine

US director Sean Baker's Tangerine is a film that's queer in both storyline and filmmaking approach. Featuring trans actors and shot on an iPhone 5S, it teases with ideas of authenticity and truth.
The Lost Battalion, 2015. Acrylic, soil, charcoal and shellac on paper. Lev Vykopal. Fremantle Arts Centre

Lev Vykopal’s Gallipoli balances history against the legends

Tackling Gallipoli is an onerous challenge: it carries baggage that must be accommodated or unpacked with extreme care. Western Australian artist Lev Vykopal’s two exhibitions offer a mix of reverence, analysis, critique and poetry.
A collaboration between Indonesian and Australian artists to build new instruments is cultural exchange in action. National Gallery of Victoria

Instrument builders at the NGV: experience it before it changes

Curators Kristi Monfries and Joel Stern know the value of slow and noisy collaboration. At the Instrument Builders Project (IBP), currently hosted by NGV Studio at Federation Square, Melbourne, you can…

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