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culture September 15, 2018

Zoë Coombs Marr and her stand-in stand-up Dave

Comedian Zoë Coombs Marr created her male alter-ego Dave in order to critique the sexist culture of the stand-up scene, and it has taken years for her to feel ready to take the stage as herself again. “I never made Dave with the intention of being cruel or laughing at people, or going, ‘That guy sucks.’ ”

dance September 1, 2018

Bangarra’s Stephen Page on the language of dance

Stephen Page has known acclaim and accolades as head of Bangarra Dance Theatre. Off stage he’s had more than his fair share of personal tragedy. Here, he talks to about family, his latest show, Dark Emu, and the power of language to change Australia. “Through this symbolism of visual art and story, under that came this kinship idea of connection to land, people and story. That’s why lore and customs exist.”

television August 25, 2018

The many sides of Eddie Izzard

Eddie Izzard burst onto the comedy scene in make-up and heels, later proving his chops as a dramatic actor. On the eve of the release of The Flip Side, set in South Australia, he talks about taking risks, being gender queer and his newest passion – running for British parliament. “I want people, moderate people like me, to get politicised, because it’s going to get rough and we’d better work out how we’re going to make it work. It’s up to us.”

art August 18, 2018

Artist Sun Xun on truth and meaning

The work of Chinese artist Sun Xun explores concepts of time and space, truth and lies – always searching for answers. As the first solo exhibition of his work in Australia opens at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Sydney, he talks about the role of the artist. “We live in a lie, in a big lie system. People should jump out from the lie circle and touch the world. It is the modern world’s problem. Where is the truth? I don’t know. In my art, I want to make people think: ‘Don’t believe our world – it is a big lie.’ I am trying to open the door for people.”

film August 11, 2018

Danny Glover on acting and activism

Actor Danny Glover is probably best known for his on-screen roles spanning nearly 40 years, but his appearance in Australia to address a trade union conference comes after a lifelong commitment to civil rights and labour activism. “I was invited here again, by First Nations people, 22 years ago. I went to visit men who were incarcerated and, like in my own country, they were disproportionately people of colour. Then I knew a little bit more about Australia.”

music June 16, 2018

Dark Mofo guest artist Laurie Anderson

Laurie Anderson has been a creative pioneer for decades, working across genre, time and place. Now 71 and still prolific, she continues to push boundaries with virtual reality projects. “You, yourself, your body kind of disappears and you have this incredible freedom to fly and to observe things that you wouldn’t be able to do in your body. So it’s almost like you’re as free as your imagination and you become your own imagination. It’s very, very thrilling.”

art June 9, 2018

Patricia Piccinini’s changing nature

Artist Patricia Piccinini’s sculptures of hybrid and transgenic species evoke a future where the environment is dramatically changed by human intervention – whether for better or worse is in the eye of the beholder. “We don’t create for art’s sake, for beauty’s sake. We create to make the world ‘a better place’, but are we actually doing that?”

film June 2, 2018

Yolanda Ramke’s auteur layers

Screenwriter and actor Yolanda Ramke has now added directing to her list of achievements, turning her 2013 Tropfest zombie short Cargo into a feature-length film with the backing of Netflix, and bringing a distinctly Australian subtext to international viewers. “Ultimately, this is a story about parents and children, and about what we’ll do to protect and preserve those we love.”

culture May 26, 2018

Ai Weiwei’s lens on humanity

The artist Ai Weiwei refuses to shy away from tragedy or grief, working with an uncomfortable proximity between art and subject. He speaks on the release of his film on the refugee crisis, Human Flow. ‘It’s not just understanding. It requires you to find a language, so that you can give dignity to the subject matter.’ The line is cotton-thin.

theatre May 19, 2018

Playwright Patricia Cornelius takes centre stage

She’s a writer whose plays have been widely lauded by critics but largely neglected by the mainstream. Now Patricia Cornelius’s work will take its place on the main stage. “It sounds so hifalutin, but my ambition was really just to be able to create great work … that I felt soared. It never entered my mind that it would happen in the mainstream.”

music May 12, 2018

Angel Olsen on turning fandom to stardom

When Angel Olsen first found community in the Chicago indie music scene, she was an unabashed fan-girl. Now she’s an accomplished artist who commands the stage with a voice that is pliant and pitch perfect. “Something changed when I got introduced to indie music. Then later someone was like, ‘You need to listen to Leonard Cohen, you need to listen to Fairport Convention, King Crimson, The Velvet Underground…’ And I was like, ‘Okay, this is it.’ ”