QUEER DEVELOPMENT PROGRAM 2017 Stephen Cummins Residency
2017 STEPHEN CUMMINS RESIDENCY
Performance Space in association with PACT, Centre for Emerging Artists are pleased to announce that the 2017 residency artist will be KoCo Carey. KoCo is a Western Sydney based ‘fakaleiti’ artist, with a movement-based practice focusing on queer belonging and cultural performativity. Her work investigates personal experience, from her cultural heritage as a Tongan and Maori ‘Fakaleiti’ person and her identity as a trans non-binary identity living and growing up in suburban Sydney.
Undertaking a two-week creative development at PACT Centre for Emerging Artists she will be mentored by Tongan/Australian performance artist Latai Taumoepeau. Her residency project will investigate traditional Tongan hulas, the repression of cultural expression under colonial rule and the intersection of this history with the queer body.
KoCo Carey is a Western Sydney based ‘fakaleiti’ artist, with a movement-based practice focusing on queer belonging and cultural performativity. Their work investigates personal experience, from their cultural heritage as a Tongan and Maori ‘Fakaleiti’ person to their identity as a trans non-binary identity living and growing up in Western Sydney. They have performed at club-nights, community centers, art galleries and theatres and belong to collectives ‘Project Queens’ (Faafafine entertainment) and ‘Slé’ (directed by Bhenji Ra).
Latai Taumoepeau is a Punake, body-centered performance artist; her story is of her homelands, the Island Kingdom of Tonga and her birthplace; the Eora Nation – Sydney, and everything far and in-between. She mimicked, trained and un-learned dance, in multiple institutions of knowledge, starting with her village, a suburban church hall, nightclubs and a university.
Latai activates Indigenous philosophies and methodologies; cross-pollinating ancient practices of ceremony with her contemporary processes & performance work to re-interpret, re-generate and extend her movement practice and its function in and from Oceania. She engages in the socio-political landscape of Australia with sensibilities in race, class & the female body politic; committed to bringing the voice of marginalised communities to the frangipani-less fore ground.
Latai has presented works and performed in The SPILL festival (UK), The Sydney Festival, Tanz Im August (Berlin), Dance Massive, Sacred Festival (UK) Sydney Biennale, The Museum of Contemporary Art, Carriageworks, The Performance Space, Sydney Opera House, Blacktown Arts Centre, 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art, Campbelltown Arts Centre, Casula Powerhouse Arts Centre, Art Gallery of NSW, The Australian Museum, PACT, Brisbane Powerhouse to name a few. She has also toured internationally to London, Germany, France, Japan, Switzerland, Hong Kong, Slovenia, Cook Islands and New Zealand.
ABOUT THE RESIDENCY
In 2012, Performance Space reactivated a bequest left by filmmaker Stephen Cummins to establish a residency program focused on mentoring and developing queer performance artists. The program is now in its sixth-year and in partnership with PACT, Centre for Emerging Artists; will be expanded beyond the residency in 2017 to include an open call workshop intensive to develop performance and professional skills in emerging performers. Together these programs work to build connections between generations of queer artists and to increase the profile of this dynamic performance culture and connect it experimental practices. Performance Space has a long history of supporting and presenting queer practices and we’re committed to exploring new ways and models to support this important performance community.
ABOUT STEPHEN CUMMINS
Stephen Cummins (1960-1994) was an Australian filmmaker, photographer and curator.
After studying Sculpture and Photography at Sydney College of the Arts, Stephen’s early work included several solo and group photographic exhibitions, and collaborative work in the theatre with several dance and performance groups, often at The Performance Space.
Moving into film, Stephen went on to win several international awards in the late 80’s for his short films Elevation and Le Corps Image.
He curated several programs of Australian Super-8 films and toured them throughout Europe. He was a founding member and co-convenor of the filmmaker’s organisation Queer Screen, and served as a board member of Metro Television and the Sydney Super 8 Film Group.
His work often demonstrated a fascination with the subcultural signification of the male body. In 1991, he won the Best Short Film Award at Sydney Film Festival with the film Resonance, a collaborative work with Simon Hunt that examined anti-gay violence in Sydney from the perspective of dance. The film went on to great success at over one hundred international film festivals, and is still in international distribution some twenty years later.
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