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LIVEWORKS 2023 - 'OF THE TIME': A Monumental Festival Celebration.

For 40 years, Performance Space has stood as the vanguard of experimental art in Australia, igniting the creative flames of risk-taking artists. Born from the yearning of artists to venture into uncharted artistic territories, Performance Space has been a relentless torchbearer for ground-breaking art, continually unearthing and presenting fresh vistas in contemporary practice. This dynamic institution has been a driving force for artists and audiences not only in Sydney but across Australia and the Asia Pacific.

At its core, Performance Space is a relentless champion of risk, experimentation, and the emergence of novel modes of creative expression. As it evolves and reinvents itself, Performance Space remains committed to serving the independent art sector from its headquarters at Carriageworks. It constantly seeks out new models for nurturing and showcasing the most vital and ground-breaking works.

With its unique position in the Asia-Pacific region, Performance Space fosters a robust program of artist development through residencies, mentorships, fellowships, and the creation of respected platforms for presentation and touring opportunities. Since 2015, Performance Space has been entrancing audiences with its annual festival, Liveworks, now stepping into its ninth year in 2023.

Liveworks 2023, the acclaimed multi-arts festival presented by Performance Space, marked a historic milestone from October 19 to 29, offering a program entitled 'OF THE TIME' in celebration of the organization's 40th anniversary. This remarkable 10-day event was a testament to the legacy of Performance Space, an institution known for pioneering experimental art in Australasia.

Liveworks 2023 featured a diverse array of over 142 artists spanning performance, installation, dance, screen, conversation, and music. The festival showcased both newly commissioned works and archival pieces, paying homage to Performance Space's remarkable 40-year journey in the Australasian performing arts landscape.

The festival's Guest Co-Artistic Directors, Daniel Mudie Cunningham and Rosie Dennis, shared their vision for 'OF THE TIME': "Performance Space is a living, breathing organism of performativity, having birthed and nurtured generations of experimental creativity since its inception.

As PSpace turned 40 this year, the time machine was activated to consider a history of radical artists, practices, and thinking. Liveworks 2023 unpacked the archive to consider the impact of time on art, actions, ideas, and the bodies that carry and move culture forward.

And while OF THE TIME reflected on the past 40 years of PSpace, the program catalysed and ignited conversations about the next 40 years of this organization so many artists and audiences have called home.

Highlights from Liveworks 2023 'OF THE TIME' included the OPENING NIGHT party, which featured special performances, including a DJ set by Stereogamous as well as "Performance Space’s 40TH BIRTHDAY KARAOKE PARTY," celebrating four decades of boundary-pushing art.

"Antistatic Redux," a revival of a landmark dance platform featuring works by artists such as Lucy Guerin, Branch Nebula, Victoria Hunt, and Narelle & Marlo Benjamin.

"cLUB bENT bACK uP!" for a queer conversation across time, with original and new performance provocateurs.

Rainbow Chan's world premiere of "The Bridal Lament," an audio-visual experience exploring an obsolete ritual.

In the realm of installations, Elvis Richardson's "PERFORMANCE ARTIST 4EVA♡," a wall installation celebrated the rich creative work supported by Performance Space.

Heidrun Löhr's "Proof," a large-scale installation featured images of over 200 artists and "Night 1001," an installation and live re-voicing of Barbara Campbell's durational performance.

"ReelDance / Dance (Lens)" showcased an array of dance films from the archive, while "Channels and Spells" surveyed 14 videos from PSpace's history.

"LIVE FUTURES," was the title of a series of public conversations that explored the pivotal role of artists in the Performance Space world.

This milestone anniversary program showcased a remarkable fusion of art, creativity, and history, drawing a diverse audience eager to experience the ground-breaking works presented at Liveworks 2023.


Words by AW.

Photos courtesy of Liveworks.


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