The Brag

Creative Sydney Day 2: Epic Fail?

In Arts, Creative Sydney on June 1, 2009 at 9:49 am

Epic Fail
Thursday May 28, 8-9pm

Artist Deborah Kelly talks about last minute back-up plans.

Artist Deborah Kelly talks about last minute back-up plans.

None of these Creative Catalysts described actual failures, but they did share inspiring stories and explanations about great and ambitious ideas that didn’t fit into their industry’s mould.

Their stories were funny and poignant: Imogen Semmler, founder of Sydney’s celebration of the fringe arts, Underbelly, talked about the difficulties of embracing the fringe, while courting those necessary funding bodies.

Stefan Popescu talks about ambitious sub-zero  film shoots.

Stefan Popescu talks about ambitious sub-zero film shoots.


Stefan Popescu of Sydney Underground Film Festival talked about his ambitious plans to shoot an experimental feature film about nudism in remote Canada, with a budget of $3000. Insanity. Yet it seems like they pulled it off.

Deborah Kelly, whose Tank Man Tango performance/memorial of the Tiananmen Square massacre takes place this Wednesday and Thursday, talked about being an artist who “couldn’t paint”, but has now made a mark with her cartoons; about her Adshel campaign decrying the illegality of homosexual marriage in Australia – her posters didn’t have quite the effect she intended; how she came up with the idea to project “Beware the God” onto clouds (!), and even found the projector powerful enough to perform this, but was confronted at the media call by a clear blue sky. She projected onto the grass lawn outside the MCA, instead.

I am beginning to see a divide in panels at this festival between those that are strings of narrative, and those organised under themes. Epic Fail was probably the former – but none the worse for it. A really entertaining and information-packed session – and a full audience!

Aspa and Jamie Leonarder from Mumeson archives; Imogen Semmler from Underbelly; Stefan Popescu from Sydney Underground Film Festival.

Aspa and Jamie Leonarder from Mumeson archives; Imogen Semmler from Underbelly; Stefan Popescu from Sydney Underground Film Festival.

With: Host – Chris Taylor (The Chaser), Nigel Marsh (co-founder Earth Hour), Olivia Ansell (Choreographer), Stefan Popescu (Sydney Underground Film Festival), Deborah Kelly (artist), Mark Pollard (Stealth, McCann Sydney), Imogen Semmler (Underbelly Public Arts Lab + Festival, EDNA), Mu-Meson Archives, Ashley Ringrose and Bradley Eldridge (Soap Creative).

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