Think you know art? Think you’ve seen theatre? Well, have you experienced theatre-art? Ken Unsworth takes delight in announcing his latest exhibition is a ‘popera’. The House of Blue Leaves is both art installation and theatre performance. Unsworth says the popera is something he’s been working up to. A Ringing Glass (Rilke) (2009) saw him, “Working with light and sound, man-made mannequins and real people and music – this [The House of Blue Leaves] is just another stage in that development.” Set in the central court of the Art Gallery of New South Wales, The House of Blue Leaves will run for only four performances. “It has its initial impetus from the objects that I make,” Unsworth explains. “Then these four dancers who have the imaginations of curious children have come up with wonderful ways of taking it further.” Although having written the script of the popera’s ‘narrator’, Unsworth won’t be taking part in the performance. Dance artists Susan Barling, Anca Frankenhaeuser, Norman Hall, Patrick Harding-Irmer and Ross Philip will be onstage, creating darkly humorous and arresting situations which were all devised surrounded by Unsworth’s work – in his studio. Jonathan Cooper who also worked with Unsworth on A Ringing Bell has composed this score which will be performed by Natalie Gamsu and a small vocal quintet.
Aug 21, 23-24, 6pm, Art Gallery of New South Wales, $55-75, 9225 1878, artgallery.nsw.gov.au