The Black Paintings, Factory Theatre, Sydney, 11/1/12

January 28, 2012

Pre-show, I party-listened to the album, The Revolution is Never Coming. Under wind-dragged leaves and airliners with no sense of occasion, the participants (among them an OGTRP cog-sci professor) listened and painted and broke into spontaneous grins. Long in the making and finally forthcoming, this is a genuine work, of life and art, about change and stasis, refusal and creation, invoking technological mythologies and delirious experiences. It had me thinking about redemption; their uncostumed soundcheck layered that messianic aesthetics with a vulgar burlesque flourish, before the ideas that remained were Shanghaied by a maniacal mashup.

The show hit hard with blows to the ear and eyeball. I defended with reflex writing. Lone instruments braved silence before the relief of accompaniment. Unhelped by smokeless lasers, a barrage of notes and colours fought for spacing between primal deprivation and sensory overload. Ticking clock picking synchronised motion and horizons of perception. The reverb speakers received radio transmission. Crystal structures formed and thought walked synapse tightropes. I dreamt of cosmonautical adventures as canvases danced and aliens “versed” ninjas. All the while I struggled to make out the muffled screaming of a protagonist drowning under tides of perspective and editorial paraphernalia. Yes I had been drinking, and on an empty stomach. Fossils and meat were painted. The phantom set took in:

  • Syllogism Defended
  • Cheer Up, Emo Kid’s Mum!
  • Birthed Death
  • The Aging Process
  • Turn the Page
  • Come, Ragnarok, Come
  • Whorls
  • Mad Whorls
  • Chinese Century
  • Looking Glass Shards in my Eye
  • Diluvian Pneumatology
  • CO2
  • March of the Warmachines
  • Covering Make-up with Bruises

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