With a Dancing Faun at the head and Farnese Hercules at the feet, I know I am in the right place. In the foyer of the NGV, the gods and heroes of Greek and Roman mythology are draped across a 14-metre long Eternity Buddha. Greco-Roman, Renaissance and Neoclassical sculpture meets the High Tang Dynasty (705–781 CE); West meets East. An interflow of all the big things: life, death, nirvana. Right place, like I said.
This year’s Fusebox Festival was as rich and urgent as ever, continuing its smorgasbord of community, activism, and aesthetic in performances of all kinds, this time with a particular inquiry into race and borders (especially the one just 240 miles south of Austin). As a resident of a city rife with festivals, I’ve learned that locals’ experiences of such confabs can be orbital: when we are already at home, home pulls us away from the party, even as home is disrupted by the party.
Where “Merge” thrashed and rhythmically pulsed, “Do You Speak Chinese?” proved a quiet meditation. Equally, where “Merge” hurtled through time, Chiu’s worked seemed almost to stop the tick-tock of the clock, as she rolled herself into a giant fold of paper and the small theatre filled with the sound of paper’s pleasing crackle as it creased.