The Performance Arcade

Taranaki Wharf, Wellington

25/02/2011 - 27/02/2011

NZ Fringe Festival 2011

Production Details

The Performance Arcade is a line of eight shipping containers, providing a series of miniature presentation spaces for selected NZ artists and designers. Opening onto the bustling life of Wellington’s waterfront, these sites of encounter engage and entertain through installation, performance art, and video.

Other attractions will surround this structure. A schedule of works including live music, feasting, discussions, film, and performance art works will be scheduled into a dynamic programme of events.

The Performance Arcade 2011 includes

  • ‘Nag’, a self powered studio by Marcus McShane,
  • the audio interactive tour ‘Hidden City Maps’ by Sarah Burrell and Andrew Simpson,
  • performance art with‘Body of Work’ (Josephine O’Sullivan), and ‘Antibodies’ by Lucia Lie and Ana McGowan-Brophy,
  • ‘Point of Presence’ by sonic artist Julian Preist,
  • a circus installation ‘He Cranked The Lever…’ (Esther Green and Meggan Frauenstein), and
  • an interactive video installation by Interrupt Group.
There will also be an experimental short film programme at Soundings Theatre and a musical programme lead by Glass Vaults and other Wellington bands.

The arcade is curated by award winning director/designer Sam Trubridge, who will be joined by a cohort of innovative artists to produce collaborations across the Wellington performing arts community.

The Performance Arcade
Taranaki Wharf, Wellington Waterfront
Entry Free  
$5.00 for short film screening
24 Feb 7:00pm (Thu)
25 – 27 Feb (Fri, Sat, Sun): 10:00am (Fri) until late   

Stimulating stuff

Review by Helen Sims 25th Feb 2011

I should in all fairness to the range of performers involved in The Performance Arcade, begin by stating that I attended the opening gala, so not all of the works were fully in action. They were all on display, however, and all looked intriguing.

The Performance Arcade consists of 9 (not 7 as some of the advance material said) shipping containers in front of Te Papa (seaward side) with different works of performance art. All of the works show some kind of preoccupation with performative space, perception and the driving forces behind creative acts. 

It’s stimulating stuff – I was particularly riveted by the part of Antibodies I saw – Lucy Lie’s Extraction II, which interrogates clinical diagnosis and cure. I was also intrigued by the ideas behind Josephine O’Sullivan’s Body of Work: Venus’s exploration of beauty myths and rituals.

Also in action on the night were He Cranked The Lever and It All Began’s wind machines and fairground music, Nag’s steampunk tandem bicycle that generates alternative energy and hopefully artistic gems and Inside The Frame’s fractured audio and visual distortions. 

I was a bit reluctant to try Point of Presence (POP’s balloon popping) – I’ve never been a fan of sudden loud noises, but others looked like they were having fun.

This is the type of work that will really award repeat visits, and the beauty of the way it has been curated is that you can just walk past and see what’s going on at anytime you find yourself unoccupied and nearby. It feels as though work like this has been sorely missing from recent Fringe Festivals. 

I applaud Sam Trubridge and Josephine O’Sullivan and the rest of the creative team. I’ll definitely be going back to see Hidden City Map’s alternative tour through urban spaces and see Body of Work: Venus in action. There’s also live music and film screening at various times to look forward to.
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