Articles on Arts review

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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…
Audiences are invited to hop aboard Callum Morton’s Google Ghost Train as part of this year’s Biennale of Sydney. AAP Image/Quentin Jones

A first look at the 19th Biennale of Sydney

Over its 41-year history the recipe for a successful Biennale of Sydney has remained remarkably consistent. There are three ingredients and all three need to work in harmony for the exhibition to properly…
Can you overcome “classic album fatigue”? The performers who played Big Star’s Third in Sydney last week gave it a good shot. Jamie Williams/Sydney Festival

Big Star’s Third and the ‘classic album’ show

“Alex Chilton’s dead!” exclaimed a friend of mine when I told him I was going to a concert devoted to a Big Star album at Sydney’s Enmore Theatre. It’s easy to see the line of reasoning: tickets are being…
Cult director Godfrey Reggio’s latest film, Visitors, screened in Sydney last week – with a live performance of the Philip Glass score. Prudence Upton/Sydney Festival

After Koyaanisqatsi, Godfrey Reggio’s Visitors – review

Godfrey Reggio’s film Visitors, which screened last week with a live Philip Glass score at the Sydney Opera House, represents the continuation of an aesthetic project that began with the landmark Koyaanisqatsi…
Sometimes too much is just too much. Martin Scorsese’s latest film is swamped by its excesses. Paramount Pictures

The Wolf of Wall Street is a howling disappointment

The Wolf of Wall Street is Martin Scorsese’s Scarface – and that isn’t meant as a compliment. I watched Brian De Palma’s 1983 film again recently. I had been looking forward to it: the Blu-ray edition…
Cadavre Exquis takes its cues from the game loved by the Surrealists – also known as the kids’ game “consequences”. Mette van der Sijs/Sydney Festival

Sydney Festival review: Cadavre Exquis

The rules of Cadavre Exquis are basic. Four directors, each responsible for 15 minutes of material. Each brings one actor. This is the basis of Cadavre Exquis, a performance staged at Sydney’s Carriageworks…
Sasha Waltz’s production of Dido and Aeneas is a breathtaking visual spectacle. Jamie Williams/Sydney Festival

Sydney Festival review: Dido and Aeneas

One thing is for sure – the first performances of Henry Purcell’s baroque masterpiece Dido and Aeneas, currently playing at the Sydney Festival, would have been seen in a far less spectacular, and challenging…
Chi Udaka isn’t a “fusion” show, it’s a performance in which intercultural exchange flourishes. Filigree Films

Sydney Festival review: Chi Udaka

There is speculation that the taiko drum was first used by soldiers in battle. At its best, Chi Udaka, currently playing at the Seymour Centre as part of the Sydney Festival, recalls the ritualised diffusing…
Pan Pan Theatre Company’s production of All That Fall immerses the audience in Samuel Beckett’s play. Ros Kavanagh/Sydney Festival

Sydney Festival review: Beckett’s All That Fall

In the program notes to Pan Pan Theatre’s outstanding production of All That Fall at the Sydney Festival, critic Nicholas Johnson underlines Samuel Beckett’s well known opposition to having All That Fall…
Halina Rejin is performing Jean Cocteau’s La Voix Humaine at Carriageworks as part of the Sydney Festival. Sydney Festival/Prudence Upton

Sydney Festival review: Cocteau’s La Voix Humaine

An unnamed woman alone in an apartment conducts an increasingly panicked conversation on the telephone with the man she loves, but who has abandoned her for another. Her assumed fortitude gradually crumbles…
Yeah – we’re stoked. stoofstraat

2013, the year that was: Arts + Culture

It’s not been a long year for arts and culture – at least, not on The Conversation. We launched the section on October 28, sneaking in at the end of festival season like someone who sneaks in at the end…
Australian reading experiences weren’t limited to the pages of printed books – as this screenshot from Christy Dena’s AUTHENTIC IN ALL CAPS demonstrates. Christy Dena/Universe Creation 101

We are our stories: Australian reading experiences in 2013

I spent most of 2013 living overseas and from afar Australia’s beauty and its fault lines came into sharp focus. In my reading I found myself searching for insight, and three Australian stories stood out…
Serialised eBook chapters force us to make time to read. Ken Lee

A good year for screen readers: notable eBooks of 2013

I’ve nominated these eBooks as notable publications in 2013 based on three criteria. First, I enjoyed reading them enough to finish the whole text on a digital device. Second, they use the digital format…
Ridiculous Fishing, one of many memorable games of 2013. Vlambeer

Fishing, puzzles and music: videogames of 2013

I love writing and reading Games Of The Year posts. It’s so nice to just once every year be given the liberty to think back on the games you played, not forward to the games you might play in the future…

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