We are now well passed the half way point and 2020 is officially 'the year like no other'.
As the world struggles on with the near insurmountable weight of the Covid-19 pandemic we, the artists and the community, limp-on with positivity on our lips and complexity in our hearts. And we are heartened. Emboldened by the support and generosity of communities, buoyed by giving programs, shared conversations and the unbreakable resilience of neighbourhoods, friends & the creative spirit.
Years like these certainly make you grateful for what you have and how privileged you can be. I can only watch from a far as friends and colleagues in other parts of the world have it worse and do it harder. The two cities where I kicked this year off (Jakarta and Melbourne) are both on Red Alert and throughout the world, while some cites are reopening their galleries and museums, very few are yet returned to the theatre or large public gatherings.
It is no small irony that this was the year I planned to develop my new creative archiving project The Impossible Project. Following a successful pilot as part of the Australian Exhibition at the Prague Quadrennial 2019 the plan was to develop the work into an immersive exhibition.
- The Impossible Project collects creative endeavours that never got off the ground.
- Projects that were imagined but never became more than a sketch, an outline or model.
-Projects begun but never realised.
-They were too expensive; too impractical; politically ill timed or unfashionable.
-Perhaps they simply landed in the wrong place or time; or fell on deaf ears.
Or they were in 2020...
Suddenly, the massive number of works that became impossible was overwhelming and heartbreaking. Suddenly, it is not just individual works that are impossible but working techniques and presentation formats. And, as a society, we find ourselves desperately in need of a revisioning of the future in a time where the tools that could help us with that (live theatre, community gatherings, new art) are at the very least challenged if not impossible.
So I have been reassessing this work and with adjustments have embarked upon it afresh, in a mission fitting the age of the pandemic.
Over the last few months we have set out to collect and archive all of the projects cancelled, derailed or reconfigured by the pandemic and associated lock downs. It is of course an impossible task, and even with limiting the parameters to creative works by Australian artists it is very difficult to imagine all that has been disrupted will be recorded. Nonetheless, a substantial and rather sobering list is building and it will soon be augmented with public call outs through our social media. Numerous lauded members of the arts community have generously submitted reflections and glorious imagery and we will soon be moving into the next stage to develop interactive online and real life components, as well as inviting selected artists to take up an impossible challenge.
The Impossible Project seeks a way to gather the ideas of the creative futurists and invigorate thinking and action for the journey ahead.
So, follow the Impossible. Visit the website over the next few months as the COVID EDITION is released; join us on insta @theimpossibleproject_ ; and be part of live (and streamed) events to be announced soon. EOIs are also open to be part of the project when it is developed with LiveDreams which is itself part of LiveWorks at Performance Space, Sydney, in October.
And in other news.
A huge congratulations to the creatives, cast and crew of Oscar and Lucinda which has recently been nominated for both "Production of the Year" and "Performance of the Year" at the APRA/AMC Art Music Awards.
And, I am thrilled to be working with The Jewish Museum of Australia on an intimate, previously unseen view into the rich and fascinating life of the late Mirka Mora (1928-2018). A joyful and optimistic honouring of a truly miraculous and marvellous woman, MIRKA promises the most intimately detailed portrait of this cherished icon of Australian culture and will opening in Melbourne in December.
I have also been very happy to learn that several of the projects I worked on, while cancelled in 2020, will be returning in 2021. More information and dates coming soon.