Viewport width =

Issue 6, 2014

The Body Issue

Share on FacebookShare on Google+Pin on PinterestTweet about this on Twitter

News

  • Major Change to Minor Paper

  • Young Money Cash Money Thousandaires

  • TEU v IOU

  • Eye on Exec

  • Euromaidan

  • Features

  • xlxo 300x200

    XL XO

    Fashion is never just fashion, and clothes are for everyone.

    by

  • In Charge Like a G.U.Y.

    As it always is with anything Gaga, there is more to behold than meets the eye behind bizarre headdresses and lolloping base synths.

    by

  • Twenty-twelve

    There are girls on this bus, and they are talking…

    by

  • Sabotage

    I don’t know about you, but every time I do something I shouldn’t, well, that’s just it, I know I shouldn’t.

    by

  • Fresher Five

    “The way to achieve true inner peace is to finish what I start. So far today, I have finished 2 bags of M&M’s and a chocolate cake. I feel better already.”

    by

  • biting back 300x200

    Biting Back

    No one would really understand. “Why don’t you just eat more?” they would ask…

    by

  • smokers are jokers 300x200

    Smokers Are Jokers

    Being a smoker ain’t easy in this day and age.

    by

  • weighing in 300x200

    Weighing In

    Foods packed with sugar, trans and saturated fats are literally killers. So who is responsible for that?

    by

  • xlxo 300x200

    XL XO

    Fashion is never just fashion, and clothes are for everyone.

    by

  • In Charge Like a G.U.Y.

    As it always is with anything Gaga, there is more to behold than meets the eye behind bizarre headdresses and lolloping base synths.

    by

  • Twenty-twelve

    There are girls on this bus, and they are talking…

    by

  • Sabotage

    I don’t know about you, but every time I do something I shouldn’t, well, that’s just it, I know I shouldn’t.

    by

  • Fresher Five

    “The way to achieve true inner peace is to finish what I start. So far today, I have finished 2 bags of M&M’s and a chocolate cake. I feel better already.”

    by

  • biting back 300x200

    Biting Back

    No one would really understand. “Why don’t you just eat more?” they would ask…

    by

  • smokers are jokers 300x200

    Smokers Are Jokers

    Being a smoker ain’t easy in this day and age.

    by

  • weighing in 300x200

    Weighing In

    Foods packed with sugar, trans and saturated fats are literally killers. So who is responsible for that?

    by

  • Arts and Science

  • Interview with Yves Yersin

    Listening to Yves Yersin: the acclaimed Swiss director of Blackboard (Tableau noir), recently shown in the French Film Festival touring the country. When we met, I was told I talk too “Kiwi” and to speak more American; here is what followed:

    Have you ever been to New Zealand before?
    No, arrived yesterday evening and am afraid about it, there is safety everywhere. I don’t identify with it.

    Do you prefer to make documentaries or feature films?
    I don’t see any difference between a documentary and a fiction film. Both tell stories. Except in the first case it is from a life that exists, in fiction from a life you invent.

    Was there a journey that led you to creating Blackboard?
    To tell a story you need conflict, and in this school there was no conflict; it was an idle school and we could only agree with everything going on there, hoping a crisis would appear. One did. Somebody started to invent things about the teacher and spread rumours, which was a little thing in the beginning but became bigger and bigger, so the story that I wanted to tell was completely buried. I never thought this would happen.

    Was it intended to be about the educational process in the school?
    I realised I didn’t know what was happening with my own son at school, and that parents do not know what their children are doing other than little facts. This was the original story. When you put your child into school you are leaving them to live a totally different life and if you try to approach it as a parent you can destroy it.

    Achieving a balance between independence and balance?
    Yes, independence… If you talk with the teachers, they will all tell you that the worst enemies are the parents. School is a public service, but the problem is the parents are paying to put the children in the school, and feel they know how to manage their children better. But this is a big problem because this is not their job and they should let go.

    It was a very small community that you filmed?
    The school was on a mountain 1400 metres high. They asked this teacher to come because he knew how to ski. He was more than just a teacher. He played the organ in the church on Sunday even though he was an atheist, for the people who believed.

    What was the most rewarding part of directing this film?
    First, we haven’t talked about the movie. The clothing of the story is in the fabric of the film. It was very difficult to make a film about this school without speaking about it closing, because the people who were against the professor and his methods didn’t want to work with me,  which made it impossible.

    That must be so frustrating…
    No, if you see the film, the result is in it; however, the cause is not and we explained the cause. You only have to watch it now. The movie is actually about transmitting knowledge not only from the teacher to the child but between one child to another and from the child to himself.

     

    by

  • Interview with Pierre Rochefort

    A chat with the objectively dreamy Pierre Rochefort, star of French film Going Away.

    When did you decide you wanted to be an actor?
    At 26. I’m 32 now. I forbid myself for years to be in the industry because both my parents are, but I’m a shy guy and was told to do drama school. It was revolutionary.

    What is the most fun part of your job?
    Kissing is so awkward, with so many people staring at you.  In Going Away, all my friends were jealous because my co-star is really attractive.

    What is the hardest part about being an actor?
    The mental process. You have to be proactive. I play the ukulele…

    Why the ukulele?
    Well I thought it would be easy learning, but its so complicated! My fingers just won’t… do things right.

    Do you ever watch your own films?
    I’m going to have to. Its so uncomforting hearing your own voice.

    What song makes you cry?
    All songs in Les Misérables.

    If you could play any role in any movie, what would it be?
    E.T. vs Alien, directed by Peter Jackson.

    Is it amusing when American actors fake French accents?
    Brad Pitt is terrible.

    Do you eat snails?
    No, gross; I prefer frogs and boogers.

    If you could only eat one food for the rest of your life, what would it be?
    Protein bars; if I’m gonna die anyway I may as well make it last.

    Have you ever been to NZ?
    No, but it’s been my childhood dream; I’m sensitive about landscapes.

    Would you ever bungy-jump?
    I’m not into extreme sensations.

    Who’s your celebrity crush?
    Ryan Gosling, he would make me doubt my sexuality.

     

    by

  • Tokyo Police Club: Forcefield (Review)

    3.5/5 stars

    If you were expecting something more ‘mature’ or ‘refined’ from Tokyo Police Club in 2014 – don’t. The indie-pop band hasn’t made the same musical leaps and bounds as, for instance, Foals, but have remained incredibly comfortable with their sound. Not just comfortable – nostalgic, like, 2004 nostalgic.

    Many of the tracks could come straight out of The OC soundtrack, possibly Gossip Girl’s. Maybe not in a momentous kissing scene à la Ryan and Marissa at New Year’s, but definitely for a landscape montage of Newport Beach. Packed with the chill and predictable guitar riffs we all love, Forcefield starts off with what are arguably the three best songs put into one eight-minute track. ‘Argentina’ (Parts I, II and III) is not some endless prog-rock build-up, but rather three separate tracks one after the other. The longest song by Tokyo Police Club, for comparison, is a paltry four minutes, so there’s absolutely no danger of being struck by mid-song malaise.

    If there were to be a song which showed the most development by the band, it would be ‘Beaches’. A more sophisticated bass line opens up the song with clean synth throughout – it’s a nice refresher cleverly put midway through the album. Forcefield’s single, ‘Hot Tonight’, is the quintessential Canadian boy-band song that you’d be looking for in an album like this. Lyrics about drinking in the park, staring at the stars, and everything else you remember from being 14.

    Overall, don’t expect anything grand or groundbreaking – but for a feel-good album that stands out in the sea of bedroom producers, for an album you know you’re going to smile at a little cringefully during parts, Forcefield is worth a listen.

    by

  • Mac DeMarco – Salad Days (Review)

    4/5 stars

    Canadian-born Mac Demarco is a stand-out in the slacker-indie-rock genre, usually overpopulated by Wavves worshippers and FIDLAR fanboys. His first album 2 was an amiable affair, layered with tongue-in-cheek musings about women and cigarettes. Salad Days is an excellent follow-up, with a growing maturity resulting in a tighter, more cohesive album with all the appeal of previous releases.

    Demarco’s conceptual approach to this project is well reflected in his lyrics – the biggest improvement in his game. Salad Days is the narrative of the self-aware scallywag who is utterly content with his lot. Mac Demarco is a man who eschews the 9-to-5 grind, where “you’re better off dead” (‘Brother’), in favour of the things “Mom don’t know” (‘Passing out Pieces’).

    Despite the “leave me alone, man” vibes throughout every track, Salad Days possesses a remarkable honesty. Constant loitering, partying and experiences have “taken their toll,” a fact Demarco isn’t afraid to chronicle in the memories presented on this album. Underlying all of this is an effective use of humour that ensures the music doesn’t get too dark. ‘Goodbye Weekend’ sums up the intent of this album perfectly: “sometimes rough, but mostly I’m doing fine.”

    Sonically, Salad Days isn’t too far removed from the recognisable jangly, reverb-drenched, loafing jaunt from his previous release 2. It’s ultimately very comfortable with itself. But with the maturation of his lyrics also comes a more polished sound. The lead breaks that propelled the melody forward so well on his previous releases is still there, but the backing tracks feel more involved. The use of a synth to lead ‘Chamber of Reflection’ is an appreciated gesture at changing things up, but is an example of an awry experiment in creativity. That said, moments like these bring a nice change of pace from an album that would be almost hyperactive if it wasn’t so grounded in its own nonchalance.

    Salad Days is Demarco’s best, most honest work to date. A charmer.

    by

  • An Interview with Sacha Copland

    How does Java Dance Company operate? Where do you practice? How was the company formed?
    Java Dance Company is a professional dance company. We tour shows to festivals in NZ and Australia, regularly fulfil commissions, tour schools, and lots of other things too. We rehearse at Toi Poneke Wellington Arts Centre (and sometimes at the bus depot!) The company was formed in 2003 by myself as a fresh graduate of the NZ School of Dance at the tender age of 21, with Rosie Christie, Melanie Golding and Yasmine Ganley (all graduates of dance school too). I’m the only original founder left, and now we employ the next generation of dancers.

    Who’s involved with the Company and with the performance? What age range are the dancers?
    We have a company of core dancers – Emma Coppersmith, Michael Gudgeon, Sarah Gatzonis and Lauren Carr – with NZSD student Demi-Jo Manalo joining us for the season and for the Edinburgh tour. Ages range from 20–32. Two dancers will have their 21st birthdays on tour this year.

    How long has this show been in rehearsal?
    Back of the Bus premiered in Wellington in 2008. Since then we’ve performed the show at festivals in Christchurch, Dunedin, Southland, Rotorua, New Plymouth, Adelaide, Perth, Auckland, Mackay and Tauranga. The next stop is Edinburgh in August!

    How did you come up with this idea for a show on a bus? Is the bus moving?
    YES the bus is moving! When I was a kid I’d look at the bars in the bus and think about using them to dance. Then the inspiration to bring Back of the Bus into reality came during a trip to France. I’ve always loved dance that erupts out of ordinary situations, and the music from buskers on the subway in Paris made it almost impossible for me to sit still in my seat. I loved the idea of going on a tour of your own city and seeing it in a completely different light, like it’s somewhere exotic you’ve never been before. This desire to re-examine the familiar plays out in the journey the characters take.

    What’s the most rewarding thing about performing this show?
    The interaction with the audience; it’s so up close and personal. It feels like we’re good friends with them by the end of the show. The opening scene is really fun to do but you’ll have to come and see it to find out why!

    What can an audience member expect from this show as a theatrical experience?
    You meet these characters on the bus and then you get to see their inner thoughts and their transformation. You see them in public and private and it’s all done through movement.

    Back of the Bus is showing at Circa Theatre 9–12 April; tickets are $28 for students and $35 full price, and $12 for the preview on Tuesday the 8th. Bookings and meeting point at Circa Theatre.

    http://www.circa.co.nz/site/Shows/Back-of-the-Bus

    by

  • Queasy Like Sunday Morning

    You may have heard of up-and-coming performance artist Millie Brown. She recently made a name for herself by vomiting on Lady Gaga. You may also have seen her, to your horror, on your Facebook news feed (as I did), with thick strings of brightly coloured vomit pouring from her lips. This may have triggered a gagging reaction from you, as it did for me, or perhaps you successfully stomached it. Brown’s vomit paintings (is painting even the right word?) have received mixed responses, with some accusing her of glamourising eating disorders like bulimia and others adding themselves to the 4500 who already like her on Facebook. Brown drinks litres of artificially coloured milk and then vomits it up onto a canvas before an audience. As strange of an apple as this idea may seem, it has actually not fallen too far from the tree of abstract expressionism. However, unfortunately for Brown, she doesn’t even make use of this one, potentially redeeming feature of her work.

    The paintings reflect, perhaps unintentionally, many of the ideas about paint and art as Jackson Pollock’s work – the autonomy of paint; the artist as a medium through which greater forces can be expressed; the canvas on the floor to maximise the effects of gravity and chance. But if vomit paintings are apples, Pollock’s paintings are oranges. And while Millie Brown vomits, somewhere, deep underground, Jackson Pollock is crying.

    I was crying too after reading a recent interview for BULLETT Media in which Brown claims, “My whole thing is about pushing my own boundaries and right now all the performances I’m doing are mentally and physically taking me to the limit… all of my performances are meant to inspire viewers to question the concept of classic beauty and femininity, rather than perpetuate those standards girls and women are faced with everyday.” With such a wealth of originality, I see she went to art school and assume she probably watched Tyra. And there’s more – Brown goes on to explain how her work, in some way which she does not care to clarify, actually rebels against society’s standards of femininity. Mmmm girl, that just reads like a Tumblr thinkpiece. Claiming feminist themes is not enough alone to change vomit on canvas into art. It also does not disguise that the art itself is average. Or perhaps I had better say average for some – Lady Gaga, for one, believes in her and Brown’s performance, and has a message for the h8rz: “We believed in the performance and what it meant to the song… Martin Luther King thought he could start a revolution without violence and Andy Warhol thought he could make a soup can into art.”

     

    I’m not sure where Gaga was going with those comparisons and I assume that perhaps she, like most of us would, faltered under the pressure of having to make an educated comment on performance art. Admittedly, performance art is one of the most challenging genres of art to approach from any perspective and it has also seen some of the most absurd/obscene/incredible/ridiculous/obscure pieces of ‘art’ in the entirety of history. Even its categorisation as art is contentious. Its style and often deeply buried abstract ideas and multiple layers of meaning tends to limit its audience, even within the art world, to an exclusive group, but in a way I think performance artists like that. I would not hesitate to say they dig it. Performance art is one of the most contemporary forms of artistic expression and in cases like the vomit paintings, many are wondering: ‘Where to from here?’

    Millie Brown will not be the last to surprise us with her vulgarity, and she certainly isn’t the first. The past century has seen worse than milky vomit grace the art market, for example: Piero Manzoni, Merda d’artista, 1961 – canned and sold 90 cans of his own excrement; Hermann Nitsch, Das Orgien Mysterien Theatre, 1962–1998 – used urine, faeces and blood in ritual performances; Andy Warhol, Oxidation Series, 1977 – invited friends to urinate onto canvas of metallic copper pigments to create abstract patterns; Marc Quinn, Self, 1991 – made a frozen cast of his head made entirely out of his own blood; Phil Hansen, The Value of Blood, 2006 – drew a portrait of Kim Jong-il using 500 mL of his own blood.

    It is hard to know whether the more controversial art of today will spark a return to more conservative and traditional styles and media, or whether it is only one step in the long staircase to absurdity. We cannot know whether Millie Brown is repelling us upwards or backwards or totally off to the side in a different direction altogether. The future of art is as unpredictable and impulsive as a splatter of vomit on the floor.

     

    by

  • How Green Was My Uncanny Valley

    Somewhere in New York, there is a mirror. Attached to the mirror is a metal pole, and attached to the pole, at the stomach, is a woman. She is slim, with long blonde hair and dark markings around her limbs. She wears a pink dress, white knee-high boots and a scaly, hooknosed mask.

    She dances. Pretty well, given her limitations. It’s in the sway of her legs; her long, writhing fingers. She sings along to whatever happens to be playing: sometimes Robin Thicke, sometimes Paul Simon. Her skin is plastic, her veins are wires, and she was made by Jordan Wolfson, with the help of Spectral Motion, an animatronics studio, for his debut show at David Zwirner Gallery.

    In 1970, Masahiro Mori proposed the theory of the ‘uncanny valley’. The hypothesis holds that as representations of the human form begin to more closely resemble reality, viewers, generally, feel more empathetic towards them; but, there’s a point at which the artificial strays too close to human likeness – beings look almost, but not quite, alive, and the viewer is repulsed. Think Tom Hanks in The Polar Express, or Ron Mueck’s giant hyperrealistic sculptures.

    There are several theories as to why this is. It could be that our brains are wired to treat anomalies in human form as potentially harmful, and we are inclined to avoid them. It could be an innate fear of death, triggered both by seeing our own form improved, and by confronting signs of decay. When our own shortcomings are meticulously copied and expanded, every imperfection submits itself to scrutiny. A video of Wolfson’s opening appeared online two weeks ago; as the woman dances, she is accompanied by the hum of her motors, her joints seem to strain as she bends. She fulfils every notion of what a perfect body should look like, and yet at any moment, she seems on the edge of rupture.

    She unnerves because she is almost exactly what you think she is. The uncanny valley operates through dissonance, a simultaneous familiarity and foreignness. She is every male fantasy manifest, in possession of everything we’ve been trained to see as erotic, bar an essential meekness. Motion sensors in the back of her head can detect when a viewer is close; when you gaze at her, she stares right back. She dances only for herself. She’s not cognizant of what she’s doing or why she’s doing it, but indulge me (what is this page if not a sustained exercise in giving me the benefit of the doubt): if she were, the viewer would be complicit in the work as an intruder.

    Beyond its immediate shock, Wolfson’s work asks the viewer to consider their relationship to the sculptural object. How to consider a work when art, unlike humanoid robotics, is not judged through a framework of formal and functional verisimilitude. Francis Upritchard’s figures pose a similar dilemma. They dance and sway, and like Wolfson’s figures, they don’t rely on the viewer’s empathy – their eyes are closed, expressions impossible to read. They repel, almost intentionally. In The Dowse right now, there is a metal bracket; attached to the bracket, at the back of the neck, is one of Upritchard’s figures – almost a bust but not quite. The figure looks upwards, in anguish or rejoice, and it denies.

    In Bowen Galleries this week, Sam Duckor-Jones’ figures stand almost, but not quite, in dialogue with Upritchard’s. The figures are long and slim and angular, modelled from the ground up. Where Upritchard works in motion, Duckor-Jones’ strength is in his stillness. You may have seen some of them on the third floor of Victoria’s library, in black enamel, perched on flowerbeds, lost in their books. Ostensibly, what delineates Duckor-Jones from Upritchard and Wolfson is their offering. In Duckor-Jones’ work, arms are often outstretched, bodies in an open position, but this offering is not contingent on what you take.

     

    Wolfson’s revulsion relies not just on his figure’s simultaneous closeness and distance from us; he speaks in the language of the erotic, and he anticipates grief in his eschewing of expectation. The erotic object relies on a removal of subjectivity to fulfil its role; in the figure’s unrelenting stare, the viewer is forced to reposition themselves against the sculpture. The feeling of unease is created by a forced acknowledgement that the viewer may not be in control of the experience. Upritchard’s figures, with their contortions and sealed eyes, operate with a similar seizure, but they do so flippantly. Rather than realigning control, they release it, offering no clear reading as to why they dance. Duckor-Jones, whose visual language is much more tender, employs the familiar to upset. His figures seem cerebral, but evasive, moving towards personal histories, the deep loneliness of adolescence, but never quite meeting the viewer where they expect. Within the uncanny valley is a space to question what we long to see when our form is reflected back at us, and why.

     

    by

  • Model Citizen: An Interview with Olivia Poppe

    Olivia is a model signed with Kirsty Bunny Management. She is in her first year of a BA in Film and Media Studies.

    How long have you been modelling?
    I started when I was 14, just kind of stumbled into it.

    What made you start modelling?
    I was actually scouted. I’d never really thought about modelling, because when I think of modelling I might think of Paris or luxury. The agent was from Christchurch and she said I had a good walk, so she put me on her books. I didn’t know what that meant but I was like, “Okay cool!”

    Is that how most models get signed?
    Sometimes. Most of the time they just have an interest in modelling so they sign up themselves.

    How did you get signed with Kirsty Bunny Management?
    I was actually with two other agencies, one in Auckland and one in Christchurch. But it just got too hard being so separate, so they both recommended I combine the two agencies and go to Kirsty in Wellington.

    Are there many options for modelling agencies in Wellington?
    There’s a few, I think around three. But Kirsty is the main one if you’re more professional, so if you’re actually serious about it Kirsty is the best one.

    Is there much competition between the agencies?
    Sometimes yes, but generally it’s about the money side of it. Kirsty has a lot of new faces who are just starting out, so they’re usually keen to do whatever they can.

    How have you been treated by staff at your agency and designers and photographers?
    Kirsty is amazing; the best agent I’ve ever had. All of Kirsty’s models are kind of like her babies, so she’s really nice. Generally, the photographers are really good too. Sometimes designers can be quite serious, but essentially you’re there to make their product look good, so they’re kind of allowed to be.

    Have you ever had disagreements with anyone when you’ve been working?
    Sometimes things can get a bit stressful in hair and makeup. If you’re sitting in the mirror you can see if they’re doing something weird or wrong. You say, “I think you need to fix this up”, but it’s not your position to say that.

    As a woman, do you always feel safe on sets?
    The majority of the time it’s safe. You are allowed to say if you feel uncomfortable, but everyone’s really nice. I did one shoot where I didn’t have a bra on and I was wearing this sheer black top which was open. All of a sudden they wanted to put a fan on me, so it was a free-for-all. I said I wasn’t really keen on it, so they strapped the shirt down so you couldn’t see anything. So you just have to pipe up and say what you want.

    Do you have any advice for people wanting to model in Wellington?
    If it’s something you really wanna do then go for it, because it is a really fun thing to do. Kirsty has requirements, like usually you have to be a certain height, but if you fit the standards then go through Kirsty because she’s probably the best agent. But everyone is just so cool and you can get some really amazing opportunities.

    by

  • Whales and Dolphins of Aotearoa New Zealand (Review)

    Whales and Dolphins of Aotearoa New Zealand by Barbara Todd
    Te Papa Press
    Reviewed by Nina Powles

    Reading non-fiction is different from reading fiction in a whole lot of ways, but above all: non-fiction books often serve up a visual feast. Whales and Dolphins of Aotearoa New Zealand is a beautiful book that does this and much more. It’s produced by Te Papa Press, an important and often overlooked publishing company that has been producing books on New Zealand history, culture, art and science since 1998. Their books often seem to double as curated works of art.

    For any non-fiction and natural-history geek (like me), this book is a joy to behold. Researched and written by Barbara Todd, the chapters traverse New Zealand time and space to chart a series of important connections: between the earth and the ocean, the ocean and whales, and finally between humans and whales. Todd covers all kinds of whale-related stories of New Zealand history and contemporary culture, from whaling in the 1800s to Paikea who rode on the backs of humpback whales. My favourite part is the science. Todd writes simply and engagingly about different depth zones of the ocean where whales feed, the first whale-like fossils, the neurobiology of echolocation, why humpback whales really ‘sing’, and loads more. She also devotes a whole chapter to mass strandings, a strange phenomenon more unique to our country than most people realise.

    But what really jumps out from each page is the photographs. One particularly eerie black-and-white picture shows a Russian whaling fleet anchored in Wellington Harbour in 1958 at night. Many show what few people have ever seen and lived to tell the tale: the full body of a live whale underwater. As can be said for much of our country’s natural environment, whales really are a part of our landscape, history and identity, and have been for thousands of years. Whether you want to delve into the biology and natural history, read about our rich history, or just look at the pictures – this book is a true gem.

    LETTER OF THE WEEK
    Gertrude Stein to Ernest Hemingway, March 1922

    “Dear you,

    fuck
    you.”

    BOOKS WE THINK EVERYONE SHOULD READ, #3
    Bridget Jones’s Diary by Helen Fielding
    By Abi Smoker

    Out of every literary heroine, I would most want Bridget Jones to be my friend in real life. Even though she is very dysfunctional, loves the Chardonnay a little bit too much and relies on a packet of cigarettes to get her through the day, she is warm, loyal, witty and best of all absolutely hilarious. Throughout the three novels following Bridget’s many ‘Urban Family’ summits and calculations regarding weight, alcohol units and calories, we empathise with Bridget during her many catastrophes. She is the non-judgmental friend who has probably experienced your most embarrassing moments and then some. Even though she is forever trying to be a more sophisticated, glamorous, intellectual version of herself, I’d just like to say, in the words of Mark Darcy – Bridget, “I like you very much. Just as you are.”

    by

  • Interview with Tom from @Peace

    Q: What’s behind the album title ‘ @peace and the plutonian noise symphony’?
    A: We wanted to kill everything we’ve done previously. We wanted to remove ourselves from what we’d made with @peace.

    Q: The album talks about space, Plato and extraterrestrials; not exactly hip-hop’s go to subjects. What brought these topics to the front of your minds?
    A: I guess I just got bored. Now that we’ve talked about those I’m bored again. I need something horrible to happen.

    Q: Carrying on from that, Does hip-hop’s preoccupation with booze, blunts and bitches frustrate you?
    A: I think it’s not the music’s fault. The media’s preoccupation with hip hop music that involves that particular subject matter frustrates me. It’s not cool to be too complex at this time in music. People want simplicity. And I appreciate that. But the review I just read frustrates me. People trynna say we’re trying to hard.

    Q: How did you find the launch party at Bodega?
    A: Was better than Auckland. Getting a little more familiar with the material. But still a whole lot to work on.

    Q: Who were you listening to while you made the album?
    A: Allan Watts.

    Q: The album often returns to our cosmic insignificance. Does that thought frighten you or inspire you?
    A: Both.

    Q: Topics like death and determinism usually confined to philosophy lectures or our own heads. Do you guys sit down and talk about this stuff over a brew or does it only come out in the studio? Do you think it’s a problem that no one talks about it?
    A: I try to bring it up. But it’s a hard thing to make a good joke about. I think the irony is that the conclusion you usually come to after a long in depth analysis of those particular things (death, determinism etc) is that basically you should enjoy yourself. Problem is that there is some enjoyment to be had talking about so….

    Q: You’ve mentioned elsewhere that some of the album was recorded in an isolated batch in Taranaki. What influence did that have on the album?
    A: just makes everything easier to do. no outside influence. no pressure. just makes everything easier. i think i’d def wanna live in the country one day if i can.

    Q: Got a collab with Lorde lined up?
    A: was close. but she unfollowed me on twitter after i fake retweeted her.

    Q: You guys talk about aliens a lot on the album. What’s your favourite sci-fi film?
    A: hmmm…. I think Moon. Havn’t seen many though. Recommendations?

    Q: Have you ever seen an alien?
    A: No.

    Q: Where to from here for @peace and Young Gifted and Broke?
    A: Iuno to be honest. Can’t even get the inspiration together to write at the moment. So iuno… Suicide?

     

    by

  • Review of This Rugged Beauty, devised and performed by Binge Culture Collective

    Regular Wellington theatre-goers know what to expect from Binge Culture Collective by now. Their specialty is devised theatre; that is, theatre put together by the performers themselves in a collaborative process that is at once rehearsal and creation, without the guidance of an authoritative script. Their shows have a high quotient of audience participation, breaking down the distinction between performer and spectator and abolishing any idea of a fourth wall. Gone also is any sense of narrative structure, at least in any conventional terms.

    Presented as a cringe-inducing corporate presentation that left me squirming in my seat on a number of occasions, This Rugged Beauty is intended as a satire of the confluence of national mythos with tourist-brochure marketing-speak that has passed for this country’s national identity over the last ten to 15 years. Mixing the factual with the fictional, soldiers departing for World War I with Frodo’s departure from the safe Shire for the perils of Mordor, this production asks the question: ‘What is real in New Zealanders’ conception of themselves and their history?’ Juxtapositions such as this make us question received versions of our history; a national identity at once self-congratulatory and deeply insecure is shown to rest on foundations in reality as flimsy as J. R. R. Tolkien’s own idealised vision of the (English) countryside.

    But the show also seeks a level of emotional authenticity that is meant to jar against the broad parody of contemporary management- and marketing-speak. In a highly effective sequence, the performers play out an all-too-real-seeming family tragedy in front of us, breaking completely free from their characterisation as marketing managers at a corporate event. The effect is to ask us to think on what is real and what is fake, in performance as well as in life, and whether there can, in fact, be a separation of the two, whether our own authentic memories are as much an artefact as a glossy travel guide is. On this, as on several other occasions, the audience has been asked to close their eyes and imagine a scene in their own minds, filling out the performance on the stage with their own memories and imaginations as the performers provide the sound effects.

    This is the strongest and most dramaturgically interesting aspect of the show. It is precisely when we are not watching that the most effective theatre plays out in front of us. Binge Culture have found yet another way to draw the audience into the action, and make the drama as much a creation of the audience as it is of the performers.

    As always with Binge Culture, this is a production full of sound and fury, but one signifying a whole lot more than nothing, and with not a dull moment for the audience. Long may they continue to find ways to push the medium of theatre to its limits.

     

    by

  • About the Author ()

    Salient is a magazine. Salient is a website. Salient is an institution founded in 1938 to cater to the whim and fancy of students of Victoria University. We are partly funded by VUWSA and partly by gold bullion that was discovered under a pile of old Salients from the 40's. Salient welcomes your participation in debate on all the issues that we present to you, and if you're a student of Victoria University then you're more than welcome to drop in and have tea and scones with the contributors of this little rag in our little hideaway that overlooks Wellington.

    Comments are closed.

    Recent posts

    1. SWAT
    2. Ravished by the Living Embodiment of All Our University Woes
    3. New Zealand’s First Rainbow Crossing is Here (and Queer)
    4. Chloe Has a Yarn About Mental Health
    5. “Stick with Vic” Makes “Insulting” and “Upsetting” Comments
    6. Presidential Address
    7. Final Review
    8. Tears Fall, and Sea Levels Rise
    9. It’s Fall in my Heart
    10. Queer Coverage: Local, National, and International LGBTQIA+ News
    Website-Cover-Photo7

    Editor's Pick

    This Ain’t a Scene it’s a Goddamned Arm Wrestle

    : Interior – Industrial Soviet Beerhall – Night It was late November and cold as hell when I stumbled into the Zhiguli Beer Hall. I was in Moscow, about to take the trans-Mongolian rail line to Beijing, and after finding someone in my hostel who could speak English, had decided