Top 10 Sydney Culture On this week 18/08/2019

This week requires an explanation. Don’t look at us.


10) Exhibition Opening – Nusra Latif Qureshi: Strategies of Intent

22nd August

What: Nusra Latif Qureshi’s first solo Australian institutional exhibition presents her ongoing investigation into the symbolism and assumptions embedded in art history. Reflecting on almost two decades of practice Qureshi’s attempts to undermine, shift and negate historical imagery reads as a warning for the contemporary age, where assumed realities can be little more than constructed visions.

Why: A constructed vision to indicate assumed reality is likely a constructed vision. It’ll be a fantastic learning experience. The next time you pay an exorbitant amount to enter the roped off part of an art gallery, that part of you that craves validation in the form of bought pretension will be at least a little less buried in your subconscious.


9) Please Explain: Do Colonial Objects Still Hold Power?

24th August

What: In this edition of Please Explain, speakers discuss the mobility of meaning and challenges presented by historical objects and imagery in a post-Orientalist world. This discussion will ask whether Colonial objects still hold potency today in institutions and artistic practice; and investigate how artists and curators can work to challenge and engage with constructed histories of objects in shifting contexts.

Why: We’d argue that Colonial objects absolutely do still hold potency in artistic practice. Through what other avenue do entitled white hipsters have to show they’re ‘woke’ than Instagramming a photo of themselves urinating on a Colonial-era artpiece? “Take that, dad!”


8) Light Matter: Symposium on Contemporary Photographic Art Practice

24th August

What: This forum will bring together artists, curators and academics to discuss the nuances of contemporary lens-based practice in Australia. Over the day a series of presentations and panels will consider issues from authorship and identity to politics and non-human vision in the post-photographic era. There will also be a focus on innovative approaches to creative process and materiality, including analogue, digital, hybrid and camera-less formats.

Why: A forum focused on dissecting the complexities of an Instagram-dominated format. Like cutting into a seven layer cake and discovering that it’s just a blob of goo with a dead fly inside giving you the finger.


7) Muriel’s Wedding The Musical

18th August-1st September

What: Muriel is coming back to Sydney! This big, brash and very cheeky new musical will play a strictly limited season at the Sydney Lyric Theatre. Stuck in a dead-end life in Porpoise Spit, Muriel dreams of the perfect wedding – the dress, the church, the attention. Unfortunately, there’s one thing missing. A groom. Following her dreams to Sydney, Muriel ends up with everything she ever wanted. That’s when things start to go really wrong.

Why: Revisit an era when it was plausible to move to Sydney for a better life.


6) West Side Story

18th August-5th October

What: Leonard Bernstein’s world-famous score features unforgettable songs including Maria, Tonight, Somewhere, America and I Feel Pretty, that have been universally adored for generations, a timeless masterpiece. Director Joey McKneely’s vibrant new staging of this musical will feature some of Australia’s most exciting young talent performing Jerome Robbins’ original ground-breaking choreography.

Why: Hear someone with a Puerto Rican accent sing ‘I like to be in America’ without a trace of irony; experience a time when it was believable that a character in a musical could profess their hopefulness for a life in America without that lilt of bitter hyper-awareness.


5) Lord of the Flies

18th-24th August

What: Artistic Director Kip Williams’ staging makes us look at Lord of the Flies with new eyes. An exciting ensemble of adult actors, including Australian screen star Mia Wasikowska (Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland) bring Golding’s island of boys to life, showing how quickly small cruelties can escalate. More than just pig’s blood will be spilled.

Why: Nothing so well executes a novel exploring the regression of a group of young dystopically abandoned British boys into blood-thirsty primitive instinct like a bunch of full-grown adults, one of whom is a famous Australian actress with a net worth of 8 million dollars


4) Chicago the Musical 

20th August-13th October

What: Don’t miss Chicago coming to the Capitol Theatre this August and starring Natalie Bassingthwaighte as Roxie Hart, Alinta Chidzey as Velma Kelly and Casey Donovan as Matron ‘Mama’ Morton’. Created by the musical theatre talents of John Kander, Fred Ebb and legendary choreographer Bob Fosse, CHICAGO’s sexy, sassy score includes “All That Jazz” and “Razzle Dazzle”.

Why: Remember those times when media savvy and fame would excuse rampant criminality? Good thing we’ve matured as a society.


3) Paz Pillowz

24th August

What: A celebration of hibernation, an ambient haven of relaxation, an opportunity to revel in winter stillness, reflection and meditation. Come and unwind for an afternoon to evening chill with something special from the Zandoli crew. Come and bathe in the auditory ashram, chill out on a pillow with a warm cup of plant-based chai or cacao…this is the time for rest and rejuvenation.

Why: Or stay home, drink whisky and give thanks for the fact that although you may have your vices, you have not yet sought solace with a group of people that call themselves the ‘Zandoli crew’.


2) Living Laboratory: Outdoor Festival of Science

18th August

What: Become a scientist for the day at this huge outdoor science festival at the Royal Botanic Garden Sydney! There’s fun for everyone – behind the scenes tours, talks, experiments and much more! It’s a free, outdoor family and community event celebrating science and providing a range of diverse and exciting hands-on science activities accessible for all ages.

Why: All the good parts of being a scientist (Instagram-worthy photos and goo) without the crippling debt, moral ambiguity and increasing disdain directed at you from the world’s most prominent political figures.


1) Footbridge Gallery Launch

21st August

What: Enjoy light, sound and musical performance at the Footbridge Gallery live launch event. There’ll be food, drinks and a DJ to help activate the new outdoor gallery with a range of installations including Woodie the robot. Featured at Vivid Sydney, Woodie draws with luminescent chalk, making the ground come alive with stunning visualisations.

Why: The University of Sydney is finally replacing their old outdoor gallery. Those statues of disdainful hipsters were getting weathered.

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