I will open with a warm exhortation: Hole in the Wall, a Next Wave performance created by a large-ish group of artists including half of My Darling Patricia, is exquisite (if problematic) and closes on the 21st May. Showing at Meat Market twice an evening, it is a little piece of theatre you may still be able to catch.
After attending the performance last night, I found myself in a conversation about attending theatre events of this kind, and the sense of space, life and the world that prolonged exposure to art creates. It’s a playful state of mind, relaxed and exploratory, and very different from the usual life-world of the academic. In comparison, academia is… well, stifling and grey.
Point two: writing about the intrusions of art into geography, Nigel Thrift notes a common criticism along the lines of ‘what are you doing with all this arty stuff?’ His response:
Robert Bresson, the film director, … says ‘Hostility to art is also hostility to the new, the unforeseen.’ And perhaps [there] is a corollary: Hostility to art and the new finds expression in doctrines that set stringent limits in advance on experimentation in cultural theory and technique in cultural life.”
Point three: play. I’ve been thinking a lot about the utter lack of uncontrolled spaces in a city like Melbourne, spaces with no rules, where one is allowed to do whatever. These are the textbook play spaces, and we are textbook-lacking in them. What happens in a city with no play?
Stuart Aitken, a geographer of play, adds: