Well, no gigs this weekend, but we’re not so heartless that we’d leave you with nothing to do. So there’s this:
A Thousand Pardons by Andrew Harper
This video piece has come to us after a three-week run at Hobart’s Cast Gallery, and is a profoundly uncomfortable viewing experience. We’ll let Andrew take it from here:
Performance, when it works, is for me a transformative state; I have odd sensations of being more than that which I am in these moments. I think this is what Artaud is reaching for in his exploration of theatre and performance: transformation and ecstatic sensation arrived at barefoot on a path of broken glass. A Thousand Pardons is the end of a long-played idea that began as comedy and deftly flipped itself into tragedy whilst my back was turned. The development seemed to guide itself, but this is normal for me — the more I think the more I lie. I prefer to attempt the horror of truth here.
I do not want to tell you what this is about. I mean, I can explain that I am sorry for stupid things that I have done, and I am sorry in a general sense for things that are bad that I have no control over or input into because I really do feel someone should apologise for them, and no one will. That absence makes us all ugly. I feel someone should aplogise for Cronulla Beach, for the swelling nausea I felt — and no one will. No one will apologise to the indigenous peoples. No one will apologise, and nothing will move on. I want to apologise to the future for not fixing it. I want someone to beg for forgiveness for Australia’s human rights record. Insert your own here. Do you follow? I do not want to tell you. You already know.
Perhaps it could be this: Depression is rage turned inwards. This is not the answer. It’s a nice glib little epigram that seems appropriate now. I heard it somewhere. It might have been on an episode of The Sopranos. I’m not sure if this work is entirely about depression, or rage turned inward, but it began, towards the end of the process to feel like a ritual. Different to my previous Celluloid curse against the current government (2005), it is far more inward, far more angry, and much uglier. I came to think of it as an exorcism; I do not know of what, but I really do—it’s just that I cannot say with total accuracy, and I’m afraid to, because I fear you will misunderstand me.
This is why I do things like this: there are no words that exactly express this for me, but I believe I can show you. I think I have to show you, actually, because I need to be precise. I think I have to show you because it’s important, far more important than me. I am a conduit, nothing more, I think. I only know for sure when I’m doing it, inside of it, in a brief pure state where everything makes sense, like vertigo. That’s all I can say now. I’m sorry I cannot give you a better answer.
Andrew is a performer, an experimental film-maker, and a writer. Born and based in Hobart, Andrew has long been active in many different aspects of arts and culture in Tasmania and beyond, from public radio to experimental film. The last few years have seen him screening local film, singing in punk bands, reading too much Bataille, working in vile market research jobs, exhibiting work doodles from said jobs, and obsessing about bodily fluids. His most recent exhibition featured the film work PISS (light) as part of the group show Sex and the City at BUS Gallery.
Andrew will be here and more than willing to chat about what he does if you’ve got any questions for him. We’ll be screening some other, somewhat-related stuff after A Thousand Pardons if you feel like sticking around.