As part of Melbourne Fringe Festival, Discordia is an exciting collaboration between eight artists with expertise in various disciplines. It is an immersive performance installation headed by Discordiant, Hannah Fox.
The piece was inspired by a 54 year old text talking of the Goddess of Chaos. Says Fox: “We began with looking at a text from 1963 called Principia Discordia, which is a religion based on a joke or a joke based on a religion.”
Presented in four spaces that the audience/recruits will move through, the performance will unfold as a series of statements made using visual installation, score, narration and movement. Film crew will follow the performance as it moves through the various spaces, culminating in a talk show/psychedelic televangelist style pageant. It’ll be incredibly beautiful and weird, complete with an inflatable vagina, a strict pink-only food and drink policy (taramasalata and Rosé being served at the bar) and a ‘Womb Room’.
Fox describes the themes and significance of the piece as positive affirmations of life: “We are exploring ways of finding optimism in difficult times, framing hopefulness as an act of rebellion and driving home the message that a sense of peace can be found in embracing chaos.”
Fox has worked on various commissions for Dark Mofo, including the amazing Siren Song – a speaker attached to a helicopter and also 450 speakers attached to buildings around Hobart playing eerie music at dusk and dawn during the festival. Fox’s company, Supple Fox with Thomas Supple, is known for its unusual approach of taking all sorts of performing arts out of traditional venues and creating new contexts for staging and presenting. Her motto for the enjoyment of her work is very clear:
“We try to avoid telling an audience what to think or how to experience our work. What we provide is an environment and a series of statements told through movement, light, and music which have been crafted with a lot of thought and care and what they take away from that is up to them.”
Fox says she is inspired by artists whose work reaches beyond the initiated art world and has a universal quality like a good pop song or an arresting image. “We aim to make work that has many layers and deep lines of inquiry but can also be experienced on an immediate level too.”
The live performance installation is framed as a documentary, narrated by Lee Lin Chin about forming a religion, using their performance practice as a vehicle for recruiting followers, fundraising and tax evasion using taxpayer’s dollars. The work was commissioned through Take Over!, a new Arts Centre Melbourne and Melbourne Fringe Festival initiative inviting artists to develop and present a performance work for the 2017 festival, the piece was selected from an impressive 99 applications.
Fox describes Discordia is a live documentary that unfolds as a traveling performance through multiple spaces normally unseen by the public. “It will be fun and beautiful and how much you get involved is entirely up to you.”
September 27 – October 1
Book at artscentremelbourne.com.au