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Culture July 20, 2019

Novelist and playwright Peter Polites

In his second novel, The Pillars, Peter Polites uses Australia’s fixation on home ownership to explore the intersection of race, class and sexuality – as well as a growing conservatism within the queer community. “If you look at the generic images coming out of the queer community, there is a very specific aesthetic going on that’s obviously tied to race and class … You can be a total slut monster but still operate within a hegemonic discursive framework. There’s nothing radical about reinforcing dominant discourse. To me, that’s the opposite of sexual liberation.”

Culture July 13, 2019

Artist Michael Armitage

With his bold, sumptuous paintings, Michael Armitage is intent on challenging colonial assumptions about East Africa and revealing the region’s complexities. “Sex, poverty and dictators: if you are talking about this part of the world, you always come up against those stereotypes and that’s been very difficult … For me, it’s been important to use an exotic language but show that it is also a form of dumbing down.”

Culture July 6, 2019

Actress Zahra Newman takes on Wake in Fright

Renowned Australian actor Zahra Newman knows what it feels like to be an outsider. In bringing that experience to the Malthouse Theatre’s one-woman adaptation of Wake in Fright, she shines a light on discrimination and toxic masculinity in our society. “Part of the thing that is nightmarish about Wake in Fright is the culture having to stomach the reality of that reflection without just lashing out against it.”

Culture June 29, 2019

Palme d’Or winner Bong Joon-ho

Rather than worrying about the nuclear threat from his homeland’s northern neighbour, South Korean director and screenwriter Bong Joon-ho has used his latest Palme d’Or-winning film, Parasite, to home in on the country’s increasing economic divide. “Of course we do worry about North Korea and want peace to come and our relationship to improve, but it’s not something that happens right next to me. What we really feel with our skin are economic issues.”

Culture June 22, 2019

Chinese political cartoonist Badiucao

Chinese dissident cartoonist Badiucao is observing the Hong Kong demonstrations, finding new heroes to join Liu Xiaobo and tank man in his art practice. “I think being brave is a kind of novelty, it’s not a common trait within everyone. Everyone has the potential, but I don’t believe we must force everyone to be brave. That is why when you see people sacrifice themselves, people like the tank man, it’s so inspiring because it’s beyond our nature. It’s something we should celebrate.”

review

Culture July 20, 2019

Solaris

Although Stanisław Lem’s classic novel Solaris provides rich source material for a stage adaptation, there’s a disappointing banality to Malthouse Theatre’s production.

Culture July 20, 2019

Mark Ronson’s Late Night Feelings

On his new album, Late Night Feelings, Mark Ronson has put his mega-hit ‘Uptown Funk’ behind him, choosing instead to make a pop album with surprising emotional depth.

Culture July 13, 2019

Material Place and The Gas Imaginary

As mining interests continue to dominate Australia’s landscape, two exhibitions at UNSW Galleries consider humanity’s exploitation of the planet’s resources.

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 July 20, 2019

Novelist and playwright Peter Polites

In his second novel, The Pillars, Peter Polites uses Australia’s fixation on home ownership to explore the intersection of race, class and sexuality – as well as a growing conservatism within the queer community. “If you look at the generic images coming out of the queer community, there is a very specific aesthetic going on that’s obviously tied to race and class … You can be a total slut monster but still operate within a hegemonic discursive framework. There’s nothing radical about reinforcing dominant discourse. To me, that’s the opposite of sexual liberation.”

Culture July 20, 2019

Three Women

Going the way of all things, New Journalism is the Old Journalism. What originator Tom Wolfe deemed “glorious chaos” in 1972 – seismic journalistic techniques of authorial intervention or literary scene-building – has long been …

Culture July 20, 2019

Disappearing Earth

Things go missing in Disappearing Earth. Children. Friends. Lovers. Dogs. Love. Life as it once was and as it seemed it always would be. We learn early on that 11-year-old Alyona, a natural storyteller, “liked, every so often, to bring …