Beyond the frame: APT8 Opening Weekend and APT8 Live

Experience a dynamic range of talks, performances and presentations throughout APT8.
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Image: Melati Suryodarmo, I’m a Ghost in My Own House 2012. 12 hour performance, mixed media installation and single channel video. Documentation of performance staged at Lawangwangi Creative Space, Lawangwangi Foundation, Bandung, Indonesia, 2012. Image courtesy: The artist. 

The 8th Asia Pacific Triennial of Contemporary Art (APT8) at Brisbane’s Queensland Art Gallery and Gallery of Modern Art (QAGOMA) will be activated by a dynamic public program of nearly 100 events, with 40 taking place during the Opening Weekend on 21-22 November. 

It is the first time the exhibition has run APT Live, a major innovation which Simon Wright, Assistant Director, Learning and Public Engagement at QAGOMA, said will bring performance to the forefront of  visitors’ experience. 

‘It’s challenging to deal with performance in a museum context because it’s temporal. We’re lending a focus to performance, where APT8 Live is a very important part of Opening Weekend and will recur throughout the public program over five months.’ 

Wright said the Opening Weekend events would tease out our understanding of ‘the body’ in its broadest meaning. ‘The body, whether it’s the human body or the body politic, is a major theme of APT8. The Opening Weekend is jam-packed with artist talks, expert discussions, curatorial tours, and performances that tease out this theme.’ 

Among the highlights will be an opportunity to hear senior Arnhem Land artist Gunybi Ganambarr, who will discuss his work with bark and found materials, in conversation with scholars Will Stubbs and QAGOMA’s Diane Moon. 

Saturday’s performance by Melati Suryodarmo will be an encounter of a different kind. The Indonesian artist will spend twelve hours grinding charcoal. ‘It’s a powerful symbolic gestural work around the passing of time and routine and will be done with great humility, poise and focus,’ explained Wright. 

With 31 performances, discussion forums, and participatory workshops, APT8 Live is an opportunity to build your visit to APT8 around an event that will enhance your experience of the exhibition and its themes. 

Sonic art duo Supercritical Mass will lead a series of participatory workshops across APT8, providing an opportunity for audiences to engage in the development of an artwork which utilises the acoustics of the building itself. ‘It’s a back stage pass into the artistic process,’ said Wright. 

Another collaborative duo, sisters Gabriella and Silvana Mangano, have worked with dance students from the Queensland University of Technology to decipher coded gestures once used to convey censored news during the breakdown of the Soviet Republic in West Asia. Dancers will activate an installation, beginning on the Opening Weekend and continuing throughout APT8 Live. 

Wright believes, ‘It’s in these live moments that contemporary art gets delivered beyond the frame. Contemporary performance is going to be a distinctive new marker for this triennial.’ Check out the program to plan your encounter with APT8 Opening Weekend and APT8 Live. 

APT8 Opening Weekend: Saturday 21 and Sunday 22 November 2015.

APT8 Live: Events throughout the duration of APT8 (21 November 2015 – 10 April 2016).

For more information, visit the APT8 website.

Chloe Wolifson
About the Author
Chloe Wolifson is a Sydney-based independent art writer and curator who works across artist-run, commercial and public domains.
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