"...it's like a silent disco!" Q&A with BEATRICE GRALTON from DOWN UNDER!
[Orginially Posted June 15th on DC Setlist Facebook Page]
Q: You were formerly on the Corcoran Staff here in Washington, DC. Tell us briefly about your experience at the Corcoran and why you went back to Australia.
A: I worked at the Corcoran for three years as the Associate Curator of Contemporary Art. It was an extraordinary place to work and I used topinch myself at the beauty of those galleries and the treasures in the Corcoran collection. I loved walking down 17th Street on my way towork, stopping in at Swings for coffee, and looking at the glorious silvery sky each evening as I would head out. Sometimes I would go through the galleries and just sit and look, watching the natural light bring to life great paintings by artists like Joan Mitchell or Cy Twombly.
Over the years I had the chance to work with artistsin cluding James Rosenquist, Philip Glass, Spencer Finch, Chris Martin, Jefferson Pinder, Claire Healy and Sean Cordeiro. In February 2012 I came home to Australia to finish my Masters and take on the role of Curator at Carriageworks. While it was heart breaking to leave DC, Sydney is a wonderful city to re-engage with, and I still feel very connected to America. Lets just say this is the beginning of new and exciting collaborations between our two countries.
Q: In your new role as the Visual Arts Curator for the Redfern venue at CarriageWorks in Sydney you are handling their newest exhibit, RAGE. Tell us about RAGE!
A: RAGE is the oldest music television show still in production and isone of the reasons I fell in love with music as a kid. It is on everyFriday and Saturday night and features an extraordinary range ofindependent and popular music. For lots of Australians, especiallythose living in regional towns, RAGE provides access to the mostcontemporary and cutting-edge music. Guest musicians come into the Sydney studios when they are touring Australia and program the show -selecting videos from the 35,000+ music-video library. It was through RAGE that I was introduced to artists like the Beastie Boys, Public Enemy, Nirvana, Fugazi, and the Yeah Yeah Yeahs. When I started at Carriageworks the show was already on the program and I was so excitedto have the chance to shape the creative vision of this exhibition. Iwanted to build the iconic rage logo out of old CRT TVs, and so we got to work on sourcing the televisions and constructing the installation. Each of the letters are around 20 feet tall and weigh over a ton!
Since the show opened I've been enjoying watching people put their headphones on and get into the groove - it's like a silent disco! With over 750 video clips from the last 25 years, you never know what people are spontaneously dancing to. I was caught in the exhibition today listening to my headphones and dancing to Prince.
To watch the RAGE VIDEO ----> CLICK HERE
Q: What is Vivid Sydney?
A: Vivid is Sydney's winter festival of music, lights and ideas. Throughout the city there is a stream of major music events, exhibitions and parties. This year we had Florence and the Machine, Karen O, and Bryce Dessner, Nico Muhly & Sufjan Stevens at the Opera House. Every evening public spaces around the city are illuminated andpeople get rugged up to come out and enjoy the city when its cold and dark!
Q: Please let us know long the exhibit will go on [Americans visiting Sydney this summer may want to check it out] and where can those of not travelling to Sydney catch it online?
A: Oh my its fairly short! As Vivid is a festival the RAGE show is onlyopen until the 17th of June. Any DC Setlist fans will need to get toSydney in the next week. That's OK, MAKE IT HAPPEN!
Q: We loved the story you told us about your time at the Australian Embassy in Washington DC & how you extended welcoming hospitality to Australian bands visiting local venues here in DC. What bands, what venues & what beers were involved? :)
A: Ha ha, yes! The first year I was in D.C. I was working for the Cultural Relations department at the Embassy of Australia. I used to trawl through the line-ups of local venues and if I saw an Australian band we would send over a case of Aussie beer with a note attached. This was a tiny and inadequate gesture - however it was a way to say 'hello and congratulations on your hard work.' Over those 12 months I sent Coopers Pale Ale and Boags Beer to artists including: The Presets, Cut Copy, Nick Cave, Missy Higgins and Xavier Rudd and to venues including the Black Cat, the 9:30 Club &The Rock n' Roll Hotel.
Q: Turn us on to bands we may not know. Who would you say is the hottest Aussie Band out there right now?
A: Goodness too many to choose! I would suggest folks listen to the talented young Sydney musicians the Winter People. Or, if you like something a little more mathematical, check out Melbourne band, My Disco.
Q: Who were some of your favorite DC Bands you saw while you were here?
A: DC was a music feast for me. I'd have to say that some of my local highlights included seeing Chuck Brown, Wale, Thievery Cooperation, U.S. Royalty & Bluebrain. What a great city, eh?
Q: Name 3 tracks that have been looping on your iPod this week?
- Beach House, Myth (this is a great catching-the-train-to-work-andbeing-quiet-in-the-morning song)
-Neil Diamond, Solitary Man (...we were on a road trip, what can I say?)
- Midnight Juggernauts, Into The Galaxy (my favorite running song)
Rage installation at Carriageworks Daniel Boud
Short URL: http://bit.ly/Mt0lRo