Aug 2, 2022 Metro Arts
Ever just get to a point in the day, where you feel like the only solution is for the day to end? Just forget about the afternoon, go to bed and wake up hoping for something better? Well I am writing to you fresh from the school pick up of doom. I left the lights on, and the battery went flat. Luckily for the sake of childhood embarrassment, my car has tinted back windows so the kids just hid in the backseat finishing off their lunch boxes while some random angel had jumper leads in his car and helped start the battery. Thankfully by the time you open this, it will be Tuesday, which is always better than Monday for some reason. Sometimes embarrassment shared is embarrassment halved (or something like that?).
In other news the new Beyonce album is out. I have been strongly advised to not write about it in case of cancellation. What I will say though is that I always love Beyonce discourse, and the Renaissance discourse has been very enjoyable to read. Do you reckon it’s possible to build that same level of dissection for our art here? Or is it only reserved for queens? Not that I’m comparing any local artists to Beyonce, but it would be nice to get to the place where we have multiple perspectives on a single artwork or exhibition again. My thirst for local critical discourse is bordering on embarrassing now.
As always, if you have something you want to share hmu! firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Auckland Live Cabaret Season has just announced its full programme, and with 100+ artists it looks as jam packed as ever. The line up includes Cassandra Tse, Fine Fatale, The Tiwhas, Hollie Smith and Modern Māori Quartet among many many more! Returning to the dreamy Civic, the 2022 season promises “luminaries, drag superstars, dance legends and performance powerhouses.” I absolutely loved my time at the Cabaret Season last year, and highly recommend grabbing your tickets.
Auckland Live Cabaret Season
14 – 25 September
The Princess directed by Academy-Award nominated Ed Perkins is out in cinemas this Thursday. The Princess takes us through the story of Princess Diana’s royal life using exclusively archival footage. My biggest question going into the cinema was how is The Princess different from every other Diana film and TV show which has gone before? And I suppose more cynically, do we need another one?
The story is as expected very familiar, and in some ways The Princess relies on our familiarity with the narrative arc of Diana’s life. You could say that it also relies on our obsession with Diana, to get us into the cinema in the first instant. As the film goes on you realise that in fact the mirror is being put up to ourselves, in an examination of our own fascination with the royal family. I’m a sucker for anything which skirts remotely close to a Lacanian mirror phase, and so of course am very into The Princess.
With no narrator which is initially jarring, the story begins to build, and you realise just how watched Diana was. At one point, it feels as though the media is being built as the villain, as is a common narrative, but we are then confronted with public demand on the media, the same public — us — who wanted to see the film. I got a ball in my throat as those scenes of Diana’s casket were shown. I was reminded actually how much of a tragedy it was to die that way at only 36. And how much of that tragedy was created by the public. I left mulling over a different question, what actually is it with our obsession with these people?
I asked the team what things they recommend this week:
Simon spent the weekend blowing through the latest Gabriel Allon book by Daniel Silva, Portrait of an Unknown Woman — for anyone unfamiliar with the series (this is the 22nd instalment), Gabriel Allon is the world’s finest art restorer by day and the MOSSAD’S DEADLIEST ASSASSIN by night but also by day my of the time too. Silva’s style is as close to perfection for airport fiction as it gets — short ass chapters barrel past with little energy wasted on scene setting or nuance and nothing is wasted. Everyone is cool apart from the villains who are the absolute pits and as long as you have a stomach for some unabashed zionism (although much less than usual in this one for some reason) its fantastically crap entertainment — highly recommended for anyone who thought the Grey Man on Netflix was going to be great but then watched it and still needs to scratch the international trash spy fiction itch.
Jean said: Elif Batuman’s Either/Or is a follow-up to her debut novel, The Idiot, which is one of those novels that make people say shit like, “Hey, have you read The Idiot? I hated it,” or “Hey, have you read The Idiot? I loved it.” Which is to say, it’s divisive, in a very lovely way. Either/Or is a campus novel which follows the protagonist, Selin, as she navigates her post-heartbreak existence (kind of), studies Russian literature, and tries to make sense of the corners and contours of human existence in a way that is extremely serious, but also extremely funny. There is a liveliness to Selin’s voice, and a philosophical curiosity, that pulls at the threads in your brain that you didn’t even know existed; a kind of wry, throwaway comment can subtly shift the light thrown on a situation and suddenly make a neutral scene super sad. I enjoyed it a lot, and maybe you will too. You probably don’t even need to read The Idiot; it exists fine on its own.
Performance by Alexandra McFarlane
Truth and Beauty
5 August, 7.30pm
5 August — 3 September
Me and You Copy Paste
Performance by as part of Cushla Donaldson
6 August, 7pm
10 August — 13 August
12 August, 7.30pm
13 August, 7.30pm
14 August, 2.00pm
Design Lives HERE
25 August, 6pm $30
Auckland Fringe Festival 2022
30 August — 17 September