Gallery Two and The Cranny
Tina Havelock Stevens
Daniel Mudie Cunningham
Curated by Jane Polkinghorne
As part of the
Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras Festival 2017
Saturday 25 February 3-5pm
Disco conjures a nostalgically, shiny, glamorous past while simultaneously suggesting disco’s collapse into a sparkling hole of excess and ridicule.
Disco Infirmo uses disco in the Australian context as its starting point, remote from the high glamour of the disco era at its peak at Studio 54, New York Operating from Australian vernaculars of ‘secondhandism’, the artists incorporate and infect this imported form, corrupting, mutilating and lionising via Australian cultural anti-glamour.
The artists respond to the sensations that Disco Infirmo evokes – nostalgia, sparkles, nausea, dance fails, Blue Light Discos, ridiculous fashion, rhythmic music, those too old for the dance floor, the bad and almost good dancers, Aussie pub rock discos, and mum and dad dancing inappropriately. Out of time and out of place, and yet the disco continues to be a democratic field for creative expression.
The Artists and Their Work
Wall of Disco, 2006-2017
These record covers are a selection from more than thirty years of collecting. 50 cent price tags, faceless producers and girls in hotpants on records marketed to gay men were the signs I followed when I began my search for disco.
Tina Havelock Stevens aka White Drummer
Let’s Groove Into Now, 2017, HD Video with stereo sound. 14.04min. Camera: Jackie Wolf. Sound Design: Tina Havelock Stevens. Audio Engineer: Liberty Kerr.
A fucked-with memory. An autobiographical exorcism. Let’s Groove by Earth, Wind and Fire was the first track I ever drummed along to.
Unzip the Chick, 2017, digital projection, dimensions variable.
She stutters unnervingly on a rentless loop. Her needle is stuck in the groove.
Tim Hilton work is a series of jerky, strobing, projected GIFs depicting an alter ego drag persona Ladonnarama and her cosmic sister Nikki Infinity. At times challenging to look at, the GIFs stutter unnervingly while others twitch on a relentless loop like a needle stuck in the groove.
Hallways Walking, 2014-2017, video performance, variable dimensions.
Ghosted Disco, 2016, sound with still image.
Ghosted Disco is a series of radically obscured rephotographed images and otherwise recognisable 1970s disco songs emptied of all but high and low frequency information. Consequently, the unbeknownst viewer/listener should be left with nothing but a ghostly sense of familiarity.
Daniel Mudie Cunningham
Silent Disco 1993-1997/2017
Daniel Mudie Cunningham presents the third instalment in his Proud Mary project. Mudie Cunningham first lip-synced Proud Mary for video in 2007. For Funeral Songs at MONA in 2012, he remade Proud Mary with a promise to re-stage the performance every five years until his death.
Islands in the Stream (Remix), 2017
Renny Kodgers Club Kodge: Renny Kodgers Blue Light Disco brings Disco back to where it was always meant to be, Midday. While the sun beats down and office workers drift onto the footpaths to take their lunch, Renny Kodgers will amp up the vibe mixing some of the greatest dance tracks of all time under the tinge of his throbbing blue hue. Drug-free and as dry as a dead cat’s bum, Club Kodge allow you to feel disco like never before: sober.
A Woman’s Man, 2017, video performance.
Lay Your Love On Me, 2017
Ingrid Stiertzel will show video/audio work from her on-going series of karaoke/roller skating performances that explore the joys and tragedies of the amateur. Her ongoing series Random Acts of Karaoke transforms otherwise popular cultural formations into uncanny experiences.
All images courtesy of the artists.