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Culture November 10, 2018

Hoda Afshar’s lens on Manus

Building on her earlier works essaying colonialism and her experience as an Iranian migrant to Australia, photographer Hoda Afshar turned to presenting the humanity of the men detained on Manus Island. “Photography has turned into this whole trend of empty landscapes – no sign of human presence whatsoever, just traces of human beings. Traces of a tyre on asphalt, rubbish, leftover food, signs that say there were people here, but no human presence. It shocks me. I think, yes, it’s important to acknowledge the history of photography, how image-making has abused and manipulated narratives. We have to acknowledge the relationship between image-making and power. But to dismantle it is not to completely avoid that dialogue.”

Culture November 3, 2018

Nils Frahm’s melody makers

Nils Frahm brings a playfulness to his serious compositions for piano and electronics, which leaves audiences delighted as well as enraptured. He vividly remembers crying when listening to English jazz saxophonist John Surman’s 1987 album, Private City, which mixes synthesisers with improvised saxophone.“It’s overwhelmingly powerful, emotional music that made me feel things that I didn’t know were in me. And that’s a great discovery – when you realise that music is not just invoking emotions, but creating emotions.”

Culture October 27, 2018

‘Triple threat’ Maya Rudolph

Known for her masterful Saturday Night Live impersonations and starring role in the comedy hit film Bridesmaids, Maya Rudolph is now tackling the subject of married mundanity in the new series Forever. But while her own life is far from dull, her priorities for work and family remain very simple. “For me, when I became a mum, I changed, and my needs changed. I didn’t want to be away from my kids … If something I’m loathing is taking me away from my kids, then I shouldn’t be there.”

Culture October 20, 2018

Caroline O’Connor’s high notes

She’s played everyone from Velma Kelly in Chicago to Judy Garland in The Boy from Oz, flawlessly channelling the great Piaf and Merman along the way. Now Caroline O’Connor takes the stage in her one-woman show, From Broadway with Love. For one night only, she’s looking forward to airing a repertoire of songs she knows as intimately as old friends. “I’m in love with this material; that’s why I’m doing it,” she says. “I’m just going to relax and enjoy the occasion.”

Culture October 13, 2018

The key concepts of Ryuichi Sakamoto

Ryuichi Sakamoto is perhaps best known for his many film scores, including The Revenant, but the composer and keyboardist’s long career spans the synth pop of Yellow Magic Orchestra, pioneering electro-funk and subtly complex ambient music. “Making music for me is a chain reaction, always going towards something. Some ideas, a glimpse of something, a fragment of a memory that triggers more images. Your mother’s smell, a person from TV news. That kind of imaginative fantasy, that journey, is already very musical. So, I hope my music can trigger some kind of image series for the listener.”

review

Culture November 9, 2018

Astroman and Krapp’s Last Tape

MTC’s childish ’80s romp Astroman – unsuccessfully transplanted from New Zealand to Geelong – is unlikely to appeal even to schoolkids, but more adult audiences will revel in Max Gillies’ masterful turn in Beckett’s Krapp’s Last Tape.

Culture November 10, 2018

Bleeding Knees Club’s Fade the Hammer

Bleeding Knees Club’s second album, Fade the Hammer, sees songwriter Alex Wall weave some far-flung influences into his bratty pop punk, from Lightnin’ Hopkins to doo-wop.

Culture November 3, 2018

Masters of modern art from the Hermitage

Diverging from the usual blockbuster formula, Masters of modern art from the Hermitage excites with its rich selection from the holdings of Sergey Shchukin and Ivan Morozov.

portrait

Culture November 3, 2018

António Serzedelo, revolutionary

A visit to the Lisbon apartment of polymath activist António Serzedelo.

Culture October 13, 2018

Author Deb Kandelaars

The writer of Memoirs of a Suburban Girl on her long road out of a violent relationship. “There I am, right in the middle of my teenage years and suddenly in a serious relationship. A relationship that pushes away my other life. Being hit was beyond my world experience. I didn’t want it to happen again. I started treading a little bit more carefully, and that set up a power dynamic.”

Culture October 6, 2018

Theatre designer Tracy Grant Lord

A chat with theatre designer Tracy Grant Lord, side stage at a rehearsal for Twelfth Night.

books

Culture November 10, 2018

All Among the Barley

“Last night I lay awake again, remembering the day the Hunt ran me down in Hulver Wood when I was just a girl.” The tang of foreboding in this novel’s opening line owes something to its echo of “Last night I dreamt I went to Manderley …

Culture November 10, 2018

Collected Poems

Les Murray has always been a sort of enigmatic double-headed eagle: one profiled eye looking into the past, the other staring into the future. Of course, we know, or think we know, about the backward-looking Murray, the so-called bard of Bunyah with …

Culture November 3, 2018

Two Old Men Dying

Tom Keneally has been at the game of writing novels for a long time now. Although he has always been an uneven writer, the best of his work is made to last. If 50 years ago his Catholic Church novel Three Cheers for the Paraclete – with …