Taylor Mac sacrificed the audience in a ‘Radical Faerie realness ritual’. Fortunately we survived.
2017 gave us a blockbuster female superhero, radical faerie realness rituals, and the 'frenetic flapping of male genitalia'. Here's what our arts critics made of all that.
Visitors take in Cameron Robbins’ Field Lines at Dark Mofo at the Museum of Old and New Art.
Many great artists died in 2016: Bowie, Prince, Leonard Cohen, Paul Cox, Shirley Hazzard. It was a year of creative foment and as always, intense debate about the importance of the arts to a thriving, democratic society.
The NGV’s summer blockbuster packs a double whammy.
© Ai Weiwei; Andy Warhol artwork © 2015 The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc./ARS, New York. Licensed by Viscopy, Sydney.
The NGV's summer exhibition is curated to create a dialogue between Ai Weiwei and Andy Warhol, and this conversation operates on multiple levels on a variety of themes, and across time and space.
The viewer is asked to suspend disbelief and journey through the realms of the unconscious.
James Gleeson. We inhabit the corrosive littoral of habit 1940. Oil on canvas. 40.7x51.3cm. © Courtesy of the artist’s estate
Lurid Beauty is the first major examination of Australian Surrealism and its profound impact on Australian art from the 1930s to the present day. So how does it all hang together?
Parke raises important questions about whether humanism is desirable or even possible in photography today.
Exhibition space, Monash Gallery of Art.
The title of Parke's current exhibition alludes to a 19th-century faith in the camera’s mechanical vision as superior to human vision – while also complicating that assumption for modern viewers.
Munroe has taken the principles of clear communication to what feels like their furthest extent.
In his new book, Randall Munroe of xkcd fame takes the principles of clear communication to what feels like their furthest extent, but there's a place for dense grammar in our theories and ideas.
The exhibition includes the kind of art not held in any Australian collection.
Sir Edwin Landseer, Rent-day in the wilderness, 1868. Trustees of the National Galleries of Scotland
Anyone who has even a passing interest in art exhibitions or how culture can define a country should allocate a good few hours to contemplating these riches from the National Galleries of Scotland.
Violence. Yes. Glamour. Yes. But the most engaging element of Spectre may be its tone.
Spectre is a return to form for the series, and the best of the Daniel Craig films, tying together the legend with a narrative that incorporates and develops the past 50-plus years of Bond.
A new exhibition examines the meaning and enduring influence of the colour blue.
National Gallery of Victoria
Blue crops up in all sorts of idioms and registers. But, as a new National Gallery of Victoria exhibition demonstrates, there's more to the colour, and its long history, than meets the eye.
We cannot help but remember Hamlet: it is iconic.
Robin Goldsworthy, Ivan Donato, Philip Dodd, Josh McConville. Photo: Daniel Boud
Hamlet is a play that haunts itself. Its saturation into cultural consciousness means that watching a performance is inevitably a process of past ghosts and past echoes framing the current performance.
Love complicates the complex marriage deals arranged by parents on the island of Tanna, though rarely with such profound ramifications as those depicted in the film.
The new Australian film Tanna, which won two awards at Venice Film Festival, is as much a tale about romance as it is globalisation.
The Society of the Spectacle.
The Counter Image
“What is the point of studying popular films?” As barbaric as it may appear, this is a good question. It forces one to reconsider, and to some extent thereby refresh, one’s perspective on the subje
The film sets up a paternalistic dynamic that overrides everything else.
AAP Image/NEWZULU/Richard Goldschmidt
The Intern is a film ostensibly about gendered and generational role reversal that quickly turns into a treatise about how much even successful young women still have to learn (from old men).
Desdemona is one of several productions at this year’s Melbourne Festival that invites its audiences to listen to tragedy and its reverberations.
Mark Allan/Melbourne Festival
Tony Morrison's Desdemona, which opens today in Melbourne, asks many questions of its audience. Perhaps most pressingly: what does it really mean to listen, rather than hear?
From Afar on a Hill seeks to dispel misconceptions around the numbers, circumstances, motivations and the actual mechanisms for acceptance of asylum seekers in Australia.
From Afar on a Hill is an immersive theatre work that provides insight into the lived experience of asylum seekers and lays bare the arbitrariness of Australia’s immigration policies.
Known as “the Pedro Almodovar of dance theatre”, Peeping Tom eschew traditional storytelling in favour of blurred realities in 32 rue Vandenbranden.
The founders of Belgian dance company Peeping Tom draw their performance language from the influential Flemish Wave movement of the late 1980s and 90s. Their 32 rue Vandenbranden is part of Melbourne Festival.
The use of live animals in the visual arts provokes important ethic questions. Pictured: Pierre Huyghe Untilled (2011-2012).
Courtesy the artist; Marian Goodman Gallery, New York, Paris; Esther Schipper, Berlin.
An exhibition of works by contemporary French artist Pierre Huyghe raises questions around the ethical treatment of animals by artists - and whether live animals have a place in the visual arts.
Justin Kurzel’s Macbeth is beautiful, but fails to reach the dramatic depths of other adaptions.
The latest filmmaker to try his hand at Macbeth, Justin Kurzel has delivered a cinematic masterpiece, but shies away from the wicked depths of his villains.
What does telling the story of the long-running conflict in the Congo through the lens of Verdi’s Macbeth teach us? Owen Metsileng and Nobulumko Mngxek in Macbeth.
by Nicky Newman
Brett Bailey's Macbeth at Brisbane Festival is a powerful production that relocates Verdi's opera (based on Shakespeare’s play) to the ongoing conflict in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Hearing HITnRUN as a ‘concept album’ rather than a collection of tracks, gives a different feel to the more awkward moments.
AAP Image/NPG Records
For some, this album will be a good-natured happy-go-funky tour through Prince’s famously diverse stylistic interests. Others will find some of the tracks poorly executed, or a bit passé.