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RT47 Editorial - Synchronicities: terror, art & politics

Keith Gallasch

Some editions of RealTime come together with an eerie, thematic coherence, more often accidental when we have to cover such a huge artistic terrain. There are small, intriguing correspondences in this edition, like 2 of our interviewees, sound artist Robert Iolini and performer Paul Capsis, discussing their Maltese backgrounds. Virginia Hyam, Executive Producer for the Sydney Opera House’s The Studio, Fiona Winning, Artistic Director of Performance Space, and REV’s Executive Producer Fiona Allan all address the challenges of supporting new work.

A larger synchronicity, welcome in these dauntingly conservative times, is the number of interviews and reviews where art practice as political activity is invoked—Iolini’s account of working with Big hArt’s Scott Rankin with adolescents-at-risk in Darwin; Mary-Ann Robinson’s review of 4 recent theatre works in Melbourne; Ned Rossiter’s reminder that new media art has to be understood not only on its own terms, but socially and politically; Alicia Talbot’s narrative of the challenges of engaging with communities in The Parks to create Urban Theatre Projects’ Adelaide Festival work, The Longest Night; and, not least, Richard Murphet’s bold feature essay, “Terror, theatre & The Hairy Ape.” Murphet’s personal response to September 11 helps strengthen our resolve to embrace the moral complexities that a New World Order would convert into its own single-minded Terror.

Good news in tough times is welcome, especially when we have to sadly record the passing of David Branson and Nicholas Zurbrugg So it’s with great pleasure and heartfelt congratulations that we celebrate the arrival of Raphael Lin Zhen Dao Buckley, born to composer Liza Lim and Elision Ensemble Artistic Director Daryl Buckley on December 13; and Rosa Scheer, born to Isobel MacIntosh and partner Edward Scheer (academic, RealTime contributor, Performance Space Board Member), on January 12.

Not to forget...Jibshot

Before leaving 2001 behind in the trashcan of history, I’d like to record how impressed I was with Jibshot’s production of Mark Ravenhill’s Faust is Dead at the PACT Theatre (Nov 22-Dec 1). A dark road movie of a play with fine, expressive performances, quality projections and soundtrack, and taut direction from Scott Howie, Faust is Dead is evidence that the Wagga Wagga-based company is a force to be reckoned with. Let’s hope we see more of them. Also see the transcript of the 7th of the RealTime-Performance Space forums, The Secret Life of Touring, a provocative and informative discussion about the challenges to touring innovative performance.

RealTime issue #47 Feb-March 2002 pg.

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