Taking art and life to the extremes: The ArtsHubbub episode 15

In the latest episode of our podcast, journalist Jenny Valentish talks about how some people push themselves to extremes and the struggles they face upon retirement or the early termination of their arts practice.

When journalist Jenny Valentish met up with Australian performance artist Stelarc for the first time – an artist renowned for suspending himself from steel hooks and growing a human ear out of his own forearm – he gave her a warning.

‘He warned me upfront, “I am the least tormented person you’re ever going to meet, if that’s what you’re hoping for”. And we met up… and then we went for coffee. And he was right, he was just a really lovely friendly chap who was perfectly willing to talk about these quite hideous things that he’s done to his body over the years,’ Valentish said.

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Richard Watts is ArtsHub's National Performing Arts Editor; he also presents the weekly program SmartArts on Three Triple R FM, and serves as the Chair of La Mama Theatre's volunteer Committee of Management. Richard is a life member of the Melbourne Queer Film Festival, and was awarded the status of Melbourne Fringe Living Legend in 2017. In 2020 he was awarded the Sidney Myer Performing Arts Awards' Facilitator's Prize. Most recently, Richard was presented with a Lifetime Achievement Award by the Green Room Awards Association in June 2021. Follow him on Twitter: @richardthewatts