Celebrating a darker side of #CBR

AinslieandGormanArts 13 July 2016

Ainslie and Gorman Arts Centres’ latest art party, CANBERRA OBSCURA, is a celebration of the ACT’s weirdest sounds and strangest stories.

Inspired by the atmosphere and tropes of the Australian gothic, CANBERRA OBSCURA will challenge perceptions of our urban surrounds and interrupt the everyday with an eerie and unsettling exploration of what lies beneath. You’ll never see #CBR in quite the same way again.

“If you start to view things through a different lens, everything looks different,” says A+G Creative Producer Adelaide Rief. “We’re interested in scratching below the polished exterior of this planned city and exploring what lies in the shadows and on the fringes.”

Audiences will embark on an after-dark journey through the Ainslie Arts Centre to encounter music, spoken word, projections and visceral art installations. The other-wordly atmosphere will intensify as the night creeps along, culminating in a dance party to shake off cobwebs and spine-tingle.

Local poets Eleanor Malbon and Aaron Kirby will perform speculative pieces inspired by the changing Australian landscape, while Jordan Morris and Deirdre Pearce will present plaque proportions, an installation exploring the concept of alternate histories.

After a hugely successful debut stint at You Are Here festival’s Everything At Once & All Together laneway party last month, Amelia Filmer-Sankey returns with her interactive installationCoin Operated Poetry Box. For the donation of a single coin, Filmer-Sankey will type participants a short poem inspired by the history of Ainslie + Gorman Arts Centres, and the women who lived and worked in them.

“We’ve asked the artists to tap into the theme of the Australian gothic, the surreal, the strange, the hidden stories and unusual aspects, whether that’s about Canberra or Australian culture,” says Rief.

Photo: Adam Thomas

The musical line-up features old Canberra favourites Mr Fibby, who’s combination of magnetic storytelling, folk-inspired music and surreal comedy have earned them a loyal local following. While usual front man No Imporant (Adam Hadley) won’t make an appearance, the band will instead be joined by BEST FRIENDS. (Who are these mystery BFFs? Brave Canberra Obscura to find out!)

Experimental group Andromeda is Coming will be joined by visual artist Martyn Jolly and his magic lantern slides, whilst Dead DJ Joke and Kangaroo Life Saver will be providing good times and spooky vibes – think Oz rock classics with a creepier bent.

Rief says: “Canberra is full of artists who do really compelling and interesting work. Part of what’s so exciting about many contemporary artists is that they peer between the cracks and present new ways of seeing. By illuminating what may have been previously hidden, these artists help us to reconsider our urban environment and Canberra’s unique position as ‘the bush capital’.”

Canberra Obscura is on Saturday 28 May at Ainslie Arts Centre, Elouera St Braddon, from 7.30pm until late. Tickets general $15 or concession $10 available online, limited tickets available at the door.

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