It is common knowledge that Sydney has always comfortably donned the title of the ‘pretty city’, leaving the arts sphere and thriving bar culture to Melbourne. For too long Sydney has shyly scuffed its feet at the thought of pursuing its own creative force in the club scene. This limited juncture has consequently resulted in the seemingly unstoppable infiltration of enormous plasma screen televisions in oversized pubs and dreadful three-piece bands playing covers of late 90s hits such as ‘Get Set’ by Taxiride and ‘Sex and Candy’ by Marcy’s Playground. Unsatisfied with this plethora of mediocrity Exquisite Corpse at the Oxford Art Factory was born.
Showcasing some of Sydney’s most promising, upcoming music acts, DJs, filmmakers and a very avant-garde calibre of young artists and performers Exquisite Corpse have made it clear that their ‘Dada’ influence is more than just referential. Every Thursday night Exquisite Corpse promises to deliver a new kind of experience, placing emphasis on the correlation between the music, the visuals and the performance; an elopement of the senses that goes beyond the bereft yet character forming art school days of booze, cigs and social climbing.
So far the night has proved to be a success amongst the culturally anorexic and this is due in part to the necessity of the concept and also because of the dynamic trio behind the operation, James Shirlaw, Robyn Wilson and Yuri Nezovic. Such is the success of the night that Exquisite Corpse were invited to contribute to the Art & About Festival, which involved hosting a variety of unusual, daring and progressive performance pieces at the aptly named ‘Little Oafy’ venue (a vacant shopfront on Oxford St just up from the Oxford Art Factory, naturally.)
So, if you intend to attend Exquisite Corpse just to stand limply with drink in hand and brow furrowed expecting an evening of half-arsed aural stimulation, then don’t bother coming. Check your expectations at the door, especially if you happen to be gravely offended by nudity, face painting, magicians, sadomasochism, light shows, synthesisers and an inverted sense of irony and self deprecation. With musicians like i like cats, Virgo Rising, Warhorse, Naked On The Vague, WIM and Kirin J Callinan as well as performers such as Brown Council, Sari Kivinen, Tara Cook and Peter Newman, the night never fails to deliver a spectacle.