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# Theme music

Hello. I'm James Valentine.
This is The Mix. The Mix Remixed - we've taken
all our best stories of the year and packaged them up for the summer so you'll find they're
just the right size for the caravan. Here's what we're gonna do - Kate Miller-Heidke sings just for us. (Sings)

Art Basel Hong Kong -
the fine arts supermarket. I created this monster and the monster found a home! And the dangerously nude art
of Xavier Le Roy.

We always want artists
to be artists, don't we? We want the rock star
to be like a rock star or an author to be
kind of like an author. I think few artists embody
their life and art quite as much as Gilbert and George.

We wanted to find
our own way to speak. We wanted to be figurative,
we wanted to be non-elitist. We wanted to be able to do pictures you could take anywhere
in the world. We want them to be emotional, we want people to cry
in front of it, we want people to be unhappy
in front of it, happy in front of it,
but totally human.

In the late 1960s,
Gilbert and George met at the Saint Martins School of Art and merged immediately
both in life and in art. They rejected all art fashions
of the day and pledged to make art for all. They began to wear a uniform
of a suit and tie and to live a life of total
commitment to the making of art.

We were the art, and that is the beginning
and probably the end of us.

Walking the streets of London
near Euston Square we saw a record, and the record
was Underneath The Arches and we thought,
'That's exactly what we are.' When we took it back to the studio, we found a little
gramophone record wind-up. 'The Ritz I never sigh for...' BOTH: 'The Carlton they can keep. There's only one place
that we know...

# Underneath the arches
I dream my dreams away. #

I'm a little bit excited about it. I don't want you to feel like
I'm trying to muscle in on the group. You know,
but I'm just going to join... So you can be 'And'. I can be And. I'm going to walk
at your stately pace, which I find very relaxing. So, on the wall, are these living sculptures
or are these pictures? Are the two connected? We believe they're pictures
that come from sculpture. We didn't come from
a picture-making background. It's photographic, right?
These are largely photographs. It's photographic in that
we use a negative but it's more based on our feelings
and fears and hopes and dreads than anything else. But it's more complicated
than just photographic. Because not everybody is doing that. But we are quite... We look stupid,
we are not so stupid.

These are very confronting. The Scapegoating Pictures, 2013.
Right. We felt we wanted
to deal with something that the church,
the mosque are dealing with, the military are dealing with. The newspapers, the television. And that we as artists can maybe bring something different
to the subject. It still comes from your street,
doesn't it? There's still the view
from Fournier Street. Local and global at the same time. This has exactly been taken
in Brick Lane and Whitechapel Road. That's where we took them. And everything that you see here
is there, in front of us. All the babies, all the...
dressed up in burquas. So it's quite an amazing
culture change. And we wanted to show that
in some way. Religions...
We are against every man-made god.

That's it. And they're all man-made. We always remember when our favourite
Bangladesh restaurateur said 'I don't like all these man-made
religions - I'm a Muslim.' There's an enormous amount of work
full of crucifixes as well, so you're equal opportunity
in this area. We battle the vicars in our street,
day and night for years and years. This anti-gay campaign
that was going on for years. Our vicar on our street went on
television describing us as sick... Sick, sad and serious, the three Ss. Even when we started to say
'Decriminalise sex,' all of the modern liberal people
in London said, 'What are you saying?
It's been decriminalised years ago.' I said, 'You're mad - all over
the world today as we speak, people are being hanged,
executed, incarcerated for doing the same thing
as everybody does.' All the way through all of
our pictures, sex is always there, even if it's the picture called
Suicide, the one called Terror, somewhere you will find
that element. We say it's
our second favourite hobby.

This... this almost seems
quite aggressive. We believe it's a great cry
for freedom of the individual. Anti-collectivism. All religions try
to control our trousers, they've all tried to interfere
with our sex lives. This one is a gentle,
non-coarse attempt to revenge. We think this is probably
our favourite piece, the most up-to-date, what you call
brutal, aggressive piece and more demonic
than the other pieces. Like these two eggy - rotten eggs with tentacles
growing out to... to fight back. People think there's something odd -
we're doing crazy modern pictures but looking like
some boring normal people. In fact, that's the way we get away
with it. We get away with murder. Let's walk past
these provocative statements and see which ones
we've gotta block out for the telly. 'Give to the godless.'
We all do that. 'Toss off in the temple.'
'Vomit in the vestry.' 'Rent a rent boy.' 'Corrupt a choir boy.'
'Curse all the cardinals.' 'Kill no queens.'
'Enter the eunuch.' We love that one.
Yeah. Fabulous.

Last March, I went to Art Basel
in Hong Kong. Art Basel is an art fair. 230 of the world's leading galleries set up stalls in the Hong Kong
Convention Centre. So this is not art in the museum
or art in the gallery, this is art in the marketplace and it's a very rich marketplace.

This year, around a dozen galleries
from Australia made the trip. I focused on just one, Sullivan+Strumpf, run by
Joanna Sullivan and Ursula Strumpf. And they were hanging outside
the VIP entrance, of course. Hello!
BOTH: Hello, James. How excited?
Pretty excited. It's very exciting.
It's gonna be a big night. You've got an hour to go.
What happens at this sort of time? Well, we're tidying up, making sure there's no dirty marks
on the wall. Trying to eat as much as possible.
You know, before the big game. Is it a 'carb up' sort of thing? Did you carb up to get ready?
Yeah, lots of rice. Lots of fried rice, yeah. What's it taken to get here, Joanna? Oh, a lot of effort. We were just talking before
about it. The tension builds as soon
as the application goes in and then it doesn't finish
until the end of the fair. Art fairs have been with us
for a while. Some would say the first
was New York's Armory Show in 1913. And Basel art fair
of Basel, Switzerland, itself has been going for some 45 years. But in the last decade,
they've really taken off. Basel now owns franchises at Miami
and here in Hong Kong and whereas once a wealthy collector
would go to a gallery and then have a relationship
with the dealer and the artists, now they come here,
cruise dozens of galleries at once and drop some millions
on contemporary art. And they can't wait to get started.

Here it goes -
they're rushing in there like it's a David Jones
Boxing Day sale. Where's the cheap microwave?

But in broad terms for the art world,
what does all this mean? Is it an extraordinary gathering
of the world's art beyond the dreams
of any museum curator, or is it more like a Westfield?

Why do you come to the fairs?
To, ah... ..see different collector -
collections, see different galleries
from across the world. Instead of travelling around
the world, they all come here. What do the fairs offer you?

The fair offer me
a kind of a lesson. You widen your view, you widen your... your...
your knowledge.

So you can see, ah... ..some new thing
progress in the art. Maybe you cannot find in Jakarta.
I can find here. It's interesting, isn't it? It's
like a commercially driven museum. It is.
And there's something... I don't know. I can't help but feel
there's something utopian about it in a way, you know. It is commercial,
but I don't resile from that. I think it's important for artists
to sell their works. But in a... in a fair like this,
the quality is very high, so it's... It's almost like a biennale,
you know. The good stands - they're mostly
very good - are curated. It's not just stuff for sale.
Mm. It's very carefully considered.
Yeah. And put together very well, I think. But what about for artists?
Do they like the fairs?

Fairs are problematic for artists.
Right. Simply because, as you can see,
there is a lot of artwork here. and it means that your work doesn't
have that much time to breathe. I would say that fairs do attract
a lot of very brash work, very strong work
vying for your attention, so you get loud,
you know, a lot of loud.

This is exciting. It's sold!

That is... that is the funniest
reaction I've ever seen from someone who's sold a painting. Your work sold.
That's good, isn't it? Well, it is, um... ..quite scary that...

..I created this monster and the monster found a home.

But it's collectors
who really love them. A fair now is like a museum, but on steroids at a megaplace - pace - and with everything all at once. But it's also not curated, I guess, so YOU have to find the... the gem. You have to find the thing
that really hits you in the eye. At a fair, yet again,
you have no hesitation that this is where you should be? Oh, for sure. Certainly, it's not like this
in Zetland.

Zetland, I should point out,
is not a... ..is not a province of Switzerland,
it's a Sydney suburb. The smallest suburb in Australia. We always say we're the biggest
and best gallery in Zetland. As well as the galleries, there was a significant Australian
curatorial presence as well. Alexie-Glass Kantor
is the curator of Encounters. This features large-scale works
from the region that are more suitable
for public spaces or museums. Eight months of speed curating,
36-hour install, 20 artists, 11 new commissions, 14 countries, cross-generational,
cross-media - epic!

We have to have a market
for contemporary item, for ideas, and I believe ideas have value
and meaning in contemporary life, so I like the fact that this exists. It creates an inter-regional market to support cross-generations
of creators, producers, people who are speculators, misfits,
fringe dwellers and dreamers, producing works that extend our idea
of what the world can be and what it should become. I love that and I think
if there's a market to support that, to keep risk and experimentation
sustainable, then bring it on.

So after a few days
in those convention halls, that building site starts to look
like a work of art. But why is everyone here
at Art Basel Hong Kong? It's global, it's got everything
and it's happening right now. For Australian artists,
it's a great chance to put their work
in an international context. For gallery owners and dealers,
it's new collectors and clients. And for the well-heeled art lover, in three or four days in Hong Kong,
the world's art comes to you. It's no mystery
why the art fairs are booming.

I don't think there's a genre that singer-composer Kate
Miller-Heidke hasn't had a go at. This summer, she's part of at least
three shows at the Sydney Festival. We thought we might set up something
a little bit special so earlier this year,
we got Kate Miller-Heidke and her collaborator on The Rabbits,
Iain Grandage, together for a special Mix performance. (Plays)

(Knock at door)
Ah, they're here.

Kate Miller-Heidke!
Oh, hello. Hello. James Valentine from The Mix.
Lovely to see you. James Valentine from The Mix.
Come on through. This is a little place I keep handy just in case
composers are dropping by. It's not every day
the luminary of Australian music knocks on your door and Kate Miller-Heidke
is certainly that. (Sings) # ..day on earth

# In my dreams...
In my dreams... # After being classically trained at the Queensland
Conservatorium of Music, she's gone on to carve a successful
career in alternative pop. # You look like you belong... #

Recently she wrote the score for
The Rabbits, an operatic imagining of the picture book
by Shaun Tan and John Marsden.

It's a story of displacement
and colonisation, a lavish adaptation
in which she also performs. Working with her on the score
was musical director Iain Grandage and seeing that we had Kate, Iain
and a Steinway in the same room, we thought we might ask
for a little performance. (Sings strong, high note)

# Save us. #

Wow! That's amazing to be...
Thanks for having us. Like, it's amazing to be this close
to your voice. I'm sure it's a bit deafening,
probably. Deafening, yes,
but it has a real physical presence. It's great acoustics in here.
Yeah. But also, James,
it's Kate's training and that world that she inhabits
between pop and classical that really shows off. This is by far
the most collaborative I've ever been, um, in my career and, yeah, again, it's really
opened that door for me as well. I used to be very much, 'No, to
write a song you have to be inspired and you have to be alone in a room
and be miserable. But this experience has completely
changed my way of thinking on that. That generosity, like, it can be...
It's a very tender thing opening up your mind
in that act of creation, as you...
as you let something come out. That... I find that
incredibly fragile. # Of my soul... #

And it's a testament to Kate
from that point of view in terms of opening -
letting something that's... ..that's only just formed,
it's really nascent and placing that
in front of a group of people is incredibly psychologically
intense, actually, for... for creative people. So can you show me, you know, can you take me a little bit
into the collaborative process? What did you bring
and then what did you do, Iain? This song really started
with the words and if you're familiar
with the book of The Rabbits, this is the double spread
that has THE most words and it's actually set out
in the format of a poem already. So we were very, very faithful
to the book for this song, probably the most faithful
across the whole opera. Mm, but in these things,
like there's an immense,

as in lots of Sean's reflection
of our landscape, there's large horizons. So when Kate arrived, um, with the melody
and the chords, um... You want to sing at the very top?
Yeah. # Now the land # Is bare # And brown... # So with those base chords
and I then go in terms... So... so that's what you had? So you've gone, 'OK, I've got...' I'm pretty sure I...
I'm pretty sure pedalled on D flat. But thanks, Iain.
Oh, did you? OK. (Both hum) (Sings note)
Great. So then I what I did was
take all of the thirds out of that, in terms of how I then try
and create more space in it. And so I'm... I go... (Plays) There is no major third
in there. So it becomes less defined
and more open, quite literally open
in terms of the sounds. (Plays) Your collaboration, are you going,
'Yeah, that's it, that's great.' Or 'Hang on,
what are you doing to my stuff?' No...
Exactly. I like thirds a lot less
after working with Iain. But, um, he's... it's... He's such an instinctive musician and it was such a, you know,
painless process - for me, anyway. I don't know how you feel about it.
Yeah, absolutely. I feel like he, um, took what I had and just made it, you know, twice as good. # The time seems # So long # I go now

# Where is the rich dark earth? # Brown and moist... #

When Craig Silvey's novel
Jasper Jones came out in 2009, it was something of a literary
sensation, won a swag of awards and began being described
as Australia's To Kill A Mockingbird. Filming's begun on a movie version and ABC's Roxanne Taylor
paid a visit to the set.

ROXANNE: This is Pemberton,
Western Australia. Population - just over 1,000. Nestled in the forest, the once
bustling timber town has slowed down, but something exciting
has been happening lately. A new pub has just been built -

but it isn't real. This is the real watering hole.

I see a lot of things
happening in town. The streets are closed
and a lot of, ah...

..ah, imitation buildings going on. WOMAN:
Oh, it's just really exciting. You just feel like
there's something happening. The sleepy town of Pemberton all
of a sudden is waking up, you know?

For the last six weeks, locals
have been sharing their morning views with an entire film crew in town, working to bring the story
of Jasper Jones to the big screen. WOMAN: Jasper Jones, I think, is one of the great
Australian stories. It's about a young guy
called Charlie Bucktin growing up in a small country town. His life, he thinks, is reasonably
coherent and straightforward, until one night this young guy,
Jasper Jones, knocks on his window and everything changes.

The story has been adapted from Craig Silvey's award-winning
2009 novel of the same name. The West Australian author previously
said he wasn't interested in a film, but he's since changed his tune. Well, I think the older I get, the more I just want
to say yes to things. And, you know, what informed
my lack of desire, I suppose, to adapt into film initially was the fact that
I think books are very precious and they're special objects and I really respect the fact that when a reader picks up a novel
and breathes life into it, um, they make it theirs. You know, it's
a very, very private transaction. Set in a fictional town
in the mid 1960s, Jasper Jones is a coming-of-age story that deals with race, identity
and dispossession. I knew I wanted to write, um...

..ah, an Australian gothic story, and so, intuitively, setting it
in the mid 1960s just felt right. And when I got deeper and deeper
into the story, I realised that all these other
elements played into... ..um, played into the story
in a really meaningful way. So I guess I just got lucky. This is a very specifically
Australian story, I think, but... And I think they have to be specific
and true for it to resonate - it has to come from somewhere -
from a place of truth - um, but it has universal themes. So, coming of age.
Everybody grows up. Everybody is a teenager
at some point and then has revelations
about the adult world. Beyond the dark themes, Rachel Perkins says
there's much more to the story. The racism is very much
at the underbelly of it, you know? Really it's a story
about this young guy becoming a man, you know, and finding out
about the adult world and it's a funny, charming
journey to that. I have great hopes for this film. I think it's gonna entertain people
and move people and it's gonna speak strongly
about Australia.

Meanwhile, back at the pub, 'Cuda' Roche has his own views
about the film. There's one thing
I'm a bit disappointed about, is that the film industry
might have been in town, but I haven't seen anyone yet and I come to the pub
pretty regularly. Ah, yeah. And Hugo what's-his-name -
Weaver, Weaver? Weaving.
Weaving, yeah. And Toni Collette.
I'd like to see her! He might have to wait until Jasper
Jones reaches cinemas next year, but with no cinema in town, locals hope to pull some strings
for a community screening.

For over 40 years, John Kaldor has been bringing the most startling
contemporary artists to Australia. The latest Kaldor Public Art Project
involves 18 nude dancers under the direction
of choreographer Xavier Le Roy. In November,
Le Roy held open rehearsals where the audience
was invited to participate. Our own Rachel Robinson went along, got up close
and uncomfortably personal. (Woman sings slowly and wordlessly)

A molecular biologist
turned choreographer, Xavier Le Roy is unique
in the dance world.

He has exhibited his works at
major international art institutions like the Museum of Modern Art
in New York and the Pompidou in Paris.

In 2013, he bought his work Untitled
to Sydney, where it was a feature of the popular
performance art exhibition 13 Rooms.

Now Xavier Le Roy is back in Sydney, this time
working with 18 local performers to create a brand new work,
Temporary Title. As you'd expect
from a former scientist, it's about all experimentation. There are no sets,
no props and no clothes.

MAN: It's working with the parameter
of time and space in a different way.

We try to move in ways that we are not seeing anymore
as human, but we are obviously human, but there... there... ..there is an attempt
to shift this perception.

The way you look at others is...

..is, ah, transformed.

The skin becomes the costume, which is also something
that we all have. It's all the same, the skin, and it's all different.

The nude and the body
has been part of art making since the history of art, so... ..so it's not new. But movement and dance and dance as installation, rather than dance as performance,
dance as an exhibition, so that there's
a durational performance, this is something that Xavier has been one of the sort of
groundbreakers in.

A series of open rehearsals
have been held in the lead-up
to the three-day exhibition. Walking into one of these
is a slightly unnerving experience. Even within the walls of a gallery, being confronted with
18 naked bodies is a lot to take in. It's hard not to feel
like a voyeur.

There is a sense when you... ..when you go away
or when you arrive, you... you enter
a pre-existing, er, group...

..and your participation
by staying there will transform this group,
so you will be part of it, ah... ..and so on.

Part way through the work,
the performers break out of the group to start conversations
with the audience and an unexpected intimacy arises.

I found myself talking
about falling in and out of love.

When I was a teenager,

falling in love was something
I really wanted to do. Does that make sense? Yeah, yeah, absolutely. Do you think it was you
WANTING to do that or having the idea that
that is what you should be doing? You want that kind of affirmation
from somebody else, you want that connection
with somebody else, because you're still figuring out
who you are. Whereas when I got
a little bit older, you're just a little bit more cynical
about the whole thing. Do you find it more difficult
to fall in love now? WOMAN: The thing that's unique
about Xavier's practice is that he really works
with the constructs of both the theatre
and of the gallery environment. He kind of pushes up
against the rules that we all know, that we associate with each space.

XAVIER: Something very beautiful
that one person say that the fact of being -
watching these people naked...

..when he was approached
to have a conversation by one of the performer, ah... he felt... he could... ..he had also to be naked
in the way he talks, that he could not cover, he could not, um...

..somehow say something
that would be more superficial.

WOMAN: I think there's also a space
for art and performance and, um... to cross and to have a different kind
of involvement rather than just spectators
coming to be entertained. Maybe coming to contemplate and to open up a different space
for engaging with art.

I feel like this work
really does that.

Finally on The Mix,
Japanese artist Makoto Azuma is pushing the limits...
of flower arrangement!

He freezes them,
he hangs them in abandoned spaces, he floats them on rafts
out into the ocean and most remarkably, he sent
the world's first flower arrangement into space. MAN: Five... ..four... ..three... two... ..one... zero.

The flowers went up
in a special high-altitude balloon.

Past the stratosphere,
through the mesosphere, to more than 26,000 metres
above the earth. There, special high-definition
cameras recorded the journey, before parachuting back to earth.

The cameras were recovered,
showing these images, and the flowers
were never seen again.

That's all we've got time for
on The Mix Remixed, but if you're hungry for more, there's lots of great arts stories
over on the arts channel on iview. I'm James Valentine. We'll be back
from January 23 with all new Mix. See you then. Captions by CSI Australia . This program is not captioned.