Image: Fiona McGregor, Vertigo, 2009-10
endurance performance for film, Bondi
Photo credit Julia Charles, 2009
VERTIGO 2009-2010 Fiona McGregor
endurance performance done for film, Dover Heights, Thursday June 11th, 2009 4.50 hours
Produced, directed, performed by Fiona McGregor
camera & assistant director – Vera Hong
assistant – Willurei Kirkbright-Burney
stills – Julia Charles
Vertigo was performed on the cliffs of north Bondi, near where Fiona McGregor lived for almost 20 years. For the duration of a day, confronting her fear of heights, McGregor lay on her stomach on the lip of the cliff watching the ocean crash on the rocks below. Vertigo is a homage to place, a study of fear and constraint, and a rewriting of the coastline as border: a restraint on, rather than a gateway to, freedom. Vertigo is the first in an ongoing series of multidisciplinary performances inspired by the fundamental substance of water. It is from Part 1, which draws on the ocean and our relationship to it as coastal dwellers. This series will continue later in the year with live works, video and trace installation, in a solo show at Artspace that will take over all the gallery spaces.
Fiona McGregor is a Sydney artist and writer. Currently, her performance work is endurance based, using the body as site, subject and material for a variety of concerns. Both her writing and performance return to spirit of place, the idea of home, and the limits and tests of freedom. She writes essays, novels and reviews, and has published 5 books which have won or been shortlisted for several awards including the Steele Rudd Award for best book of short stories. Her latest book is the bestselling novel Indelible Ink. Her travel memoir Strange Museums recounts a performance art tour taken through Poland in 2006. This screening of Vertigo at MOP Projects marks the Australian debut of the Water series.
Acknowledgement goes to the traditional owners of this place, the Gadigal or Birrabirragal people of the Eora or Dharug nation
Image: Liam Benson, Mrs Boss, Numarella, 2010.
Assisted by Naomi Oliver
The Pioneers Liam Benson
Liam Bensons body of work “The Pioneers” is a solo performative investigation of the contemporary Australian identity played out through a series of video and photographic works.
Australia’s identity is in a state of chaotic flux. As the information age moves us closer to the rest of the world giving us the opportunity to diversify, we are faced with recognising who we were and what we have the potential to become.
For some Australians, integration and diversity is perceived as an impending threat to their sense of self. For a largely remote and somewhat gated community with a prominent Anglo-Saxon heritage, having to embrace new influences can seem all too much.
Despite this inclination, it must be realised that we are no longer just a colony of the British Empire with a new accent who loves a beer at a barbie. In reality Australia is a rapidly changing contemporary society, faced with finding its place within the global community. This realisation although intimidating in its uncertainty, holds the opportunity to rediscover and redefine what it means to be Australian
The self-portraits and character studies played out by Benson are a compassionate depiction of middle class white Australia and how it is reacting to the change in Australia’s diverse identity. In the portraits, Benson gives himself a series of makeovers based on examinations of nostalgic Australiana and how it has been used as a self projected portrait in popular media. These familiar stylisations are played against imagery of integrating cultural and emerging sub-cultural influences, exploring reason within the erratic relationship between legacy and evolution.
The work se
rves as a reminder that our beloved nostalgia for the Australian identity should be a sublime muse and cause for fruition, not a defence against change. Australia is not the only community faced with this predicament, however Bensons body of work recognises Australia’s potential to be the first to generate a resolution.
MOP Projects is assisted by the NSW Government through Arts NSW
Image: Prophetic Initiatives, Slained, digital image, 2010
Prophetic Initiative’s Laughing Conference will explore the concept of laughter within the public realm, employing a conference model to generate a series of new interactive performances. Informed by the ‘holy laughter’ manifestation, said to be inspired by the presence of the spirit of God (made famous by Canadian 1990’s Christian movement the Toronto Blessing), the work will examine acceptable behavioural modes within the gallery space.
Prophetic Initiatives (P.I.) is a multifaceted collaborative project which begun in 2009 with artists David Capra and Leahlani Johnson as a ‘ministry’ to the art world. Through performance and installation P.I. projects aims to reinterpret aspects of the religious institution to highlight the art world's ability to also house experiences that surpass the rational realm. One of the branches of Prophetic Initiatives is their street ministry, Prophetic Art Stall, an interactive performance between created personas and the spectator.Documentation of these exchanges at Mori Gallery and Mop projects (both 2009) can be viewed at