Taking Time & Taking Space

Posted on October 7, 2013

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|Play | get messy | throw out |save for later | hit rock bottom | come bounding back | work from within | quick solve | sitting with a challenge | start something new | move around | experience art | get inspired | talk to talented strangers | take a break and feel good about it | explore a city | sleepless nights | midnight meditation | face fears | reflect|

We have had the privilege, this week, to spend some time challenging our art making practice; exploring new territories, finding new ways through old ones, letting ourselves fail, solving problems from inside the work rather than searching for them outside of the work and looking at ourselves as artists in relation to the world we work amongst. Getting to know each other and ourselves better, some pretty cool lessons learnt… In our search for space we have also been getting to know KL and it’s surrounds a lot better.

To be clear and dreadfully predictable let’s start from the beginning:

We went to Melaka last week to explore the space we will use in MAP Festival. The site is breathtaking, and you can certainly see that it will turn into a magical place over the three days of dance. We will be performing in the site-specific section of the festival, which means we are programmed earlier in the day and on Middle Landing, offering grass, a paved platform and the terrain of St Paul Hill. This really opens up many options for that particular performance but was going to put a major spanner in the works for the piece that we had in mind. So, after some serious brainstorming Bilqis and Steph have been doing some spectacular producing, working out how  we can present the piece at an informal showing in KL as well.

In one day we went on a hop-on hop-off tour of potential performance spaces throughout KL. We first went to see the beautiful Annexe at Central Market, three long studios with white walls and dark timber floor. Each studio connects with little archways and two of the spaces have lofts over looking the performances area. A little bit “underground art gallery”.

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The second space is at KLPAC, which is set on an incredible property, Sentul Park, and has become a host for some of KL’s most prominent live theatre performances, as well as a home for the arts community and known for it’s awarding winning architecture. It is privately owned and run by Faridah Merican and Joe Hasham.

We couldn’t have timed our arrival at the third space better, arriving just in time to see Media/Art Kitchen, currently showing in the Black Box at Publika (which we hate to admit but brings out our inner coffee snob consumer hipster yuppie – all kinds of ugly).  Fortunately, the exhibition was genuinely fascinating; seven different visual artists from different countries presenting their collaborative works that will also be presented in Jakarta, Manila and Bangkok between now and January 2014. If you are in KL, go and see it! There are also talks and labs to get involved in. Some of the most interesting visual art we have seen, and what a way to check out a potential performance space.

Afterwards, Bilqis cleverly timed the visit to the last space with a show. The Five Arts Centre presented 2 Minute Solos an ingenious performance structure allowing the 44 audience members to experience 11, 2 minutes solos within the space of one hour. We moved through the ins and outs of the Five Arts Centre office spaces, witnessing a women’s plea for religious choice, a man singing to the tune of Hang Tuah, and a mind game where meditation meets car crash, just to name a few. Marion D’Cruz, who will only take credit for conjuring the concept and picking the participants, indicated that two minutes was the amount of time she deliberately chose as it presents a real challenge. The artists must have brevity, be articulate, and say what they desperately need to say, and no more. We have agreed that if we provide the ‘bubbly’ this idea may present itself in the Brisbane art scene.

So now, it is decision time, we’ll keep you posted.

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