One really has to start this article with a review of the events of the latest Blue Oyster opening of Seraphine Picks show at which an overly drunk Matthew Middleton and crew stirred up a drunken rabble . Asked to leave by Director Steve Carr, Middleton responded by spitting wine in his face. This was followed by Middleton taking the Blue Oyster sign down the street and using it to smash two of the windows of the Southern Cross Hotel. In retaliation to this, Middleton received a well-administrated whomping from members of the public, plus a polite shove/macing from the local constabulary. Good to see the Boyz In Blue doing their job! Mr Middleton can expect amongst other things to face at least one charge of Assault with a Deadly Weapon (see the court papers regarding this incident, courtesy of the defendant)
The Fringe Festival took up a lot of time on the arts calendar over the last month, but found itself plagued with a myriad of problems running from simple administrative issues to the raging mess that was the timetable. The festival, which ran more or less concurrently with the official Arts Festival, tried to pass itself off as an outlet for some of the less established, or fringe, artists but, to me, ended up looking like yet another attempt to clutch at straws on the part of a group of people who have had more than their fair share of chances.
One such outing was Paula Brands performance that dealt with the dual concepts of sex as a consumer product, and that old chestnut voyeurism... Im a bit bored of the voyeurism thing, but the piece did have a certain comic appeal, with notorious guitar slinger Gavin Shaw putting in an appearance as a g-string-clad sex actor alongside a topless Brand.
The Fringe also played host to a week of performances at the Athenaeum Library which included a couple of free noise evenings featuring the likes of Crude, Sandoz Lab Technicians and Flies Inside The Sun. Some of it was good, some bad, but is does this type of foraying into sound have any place anymore? To give the performers their due, admittedly there were some pioneers on the bill, but perhaps after all these years, the relevance has been lost.
In response to this, Jim Speers, Steve Carr, Daniel Canada and underground avant-noise celebrity Duncan Bruce formed their own bullshit noise band called Foucault and proceeded to play a shit set at Arc on the tail end of a mighty fine Outlaw Streak gig.
On the Blue Oyster front, Stella Brennan put forward a fantastic show with a very sterile presentation, though definitely not one for the kids: sculptures reminiscent of giant fish tanks and white polystyrene chilly-bins. The whole presentation was very stylish, pandering to that vision of the future aesthetic.
Bing Dawes show seemed to be one that got mixed reactions. A few people werent so keen, but it definitely showed Dawe for the experienced player he is. Subtle works, very well constructed, and a certain modesty when it came to approaching the space. It came down to being hand-carved life-size replicas of native eel and flounder selling at roughly $5000 a piece. My fave work of Dawes from this show though was his miniature scale model of the Oyster itself which he left as a gift to the gallery.
There have been other shows but it takes a lot to top the long overdue metering of physical admonishment to Middleton at the Blue Oysters latest so I think Ill end it there
This is Daniel Riggs signing out.