What To See at Liveworks Festival of Experimental Art

Liveworks is opening tomorrow Thursday 20 October at Carriageworks in Sydney, and will run for 10 days until the 30th. Liveworks celebrates contemporary performance practice and new works from Australian, Asia Pacific and First Nations artists.

The festival is curated into three threads: ‘Live Now’ which is a program of new experimental art, expanding our perspective on what’s possible, ‘Live Dreams’ offers a dynamic platform for works-in-progress, exploring the art of tomorrow and ‘Live Futures’ comprising a curated series of artist-led conversations about the future. You can check out the program here, and search by online or in person, access, and the dates you’d like to visit. We’ve also collated a list of events not to miss at the Liveworks Festival of Experimental Art.

Image: Rinse, Amrita Hepi, Image design: Matt Sav. Original photo: Gregory Lorenzutti

Rinse by Amrita Hepi explores ‘beginnings’ particularly as it applies to romance, and what can happen after the thrill is gone, inertia. The solo performance based on a dynamic improvisational score will weave together ‘autobiographical elements with the grand narratives of art, feminism, dance, the void, desire, popular culture and colonial history.’

The Wait of Expectation by Sophie Penkethman-Young is making its debut online as it invites us to rethink our digital lives. Holding up the symbol of the ‘loading bars and digital icons that placate us’ Penkethman-Young’s diary-like video essay asks what it means to be anticipating progress.

Image: In Progress: The Wait of Expectation, Design by Sophie Penkethman-Young

Follies of God will see artist Raghav Handa explore the complexities and interpretations of The Baghavad Gita (a holy scripture for Hinduism) unearthing uneasy truths about how people have used this text for both good and evil. This is a sonic and visual experience with vocal elements, choreography and special lighting.

Image: Follies of God, Raghav Handa, KCA2022, photo by Zan Wimberley

Hundreds + Thousands blurs the boundaries between plants and humans and in doing so serves up ‘a glimpse of a world where time is transformed and the human is displaced.’ The audience are invited to bring along their favourite plant!

Image: Photo by Ken Cheong

Rupture: all the stars unshining is a performance that considers ‘rupture’ as an outcome of the pressures, politics, and feelings of panic we experience in the world today. By articulating how the body can move through these states the performers suggest ways for both ‘engaging with—and exiting from—catastrophe’.

A barrow, a singsing by Yuriyal Eric Bridgeman presents 19 large-scale shield paintings with sculpture, photography and installation. The artist works between his studio in Queensland and Papua New Guinea, his ancestral home. Liveworks note that Bridgeman’s practice is ‘intensely personal, while also engaging with broader cultural narratives including tribal custom, family relationships and the sporting code rugby league.’

Image: Shields by Yuriyal Eric Bridgeman, photo by Carl Warner

Day For Night is the event’s celebration which goes from midday to midnight on Saturday 29 October. The party brings together ‘queer performance legends: from bright young things to incredible community elders’. You will be treated to experimental and electronic music, performance and art installations.

Image: Betty Apple; Photo by Ding Yun

There is much more to experience than what we mentioned above, and also we should note that there is an extensive digital program, not only to offer greater access to the content of the festival, but also to push as they say ‘new possibilities for liveness and expand our sense of what live performance can mean in the digital realm.’

We hope you enjoy Liveworks! And on a final note, our congratulations go to Jeff Khan who has served for 12 years as the Artistic Director and CEO of Performance Space, this iteration of Liveworks will be his last with the company. Khan is starting a new role as Creative Director of Melbourne’s Asia TOPA.