I couldn’t imagine a more visceral window into modern indigenous life, than Eva Johnson’s performance What Do They Call Me. So often in our assuming world, can the ‘big powers’ conveniently ignore the facts behind family-based circumstance, and Eva Johnson’s artwork illustrates to us how easily assumptions can be made and how oppressive the consequences can be. The piece calls into attention the vicious pulling of identity of Indigenous peoples, from both the sides of white conformity, and traditional heritage.
There have been many films about doppelgängers in the past yet here it doesn’t feel like it is being used as a gimmick. This fresh and original take on the subject is mainly due to Eisenberg’s performance and the way Ayoade skillfully frames his shots to provide a sense of claustrophobia and to document the intense feelings of neuroticism that Simon experiences. Eisenberg brilliantly pulls off the tricky task of playing two separate characters who manage to both be pretty unlikable but still utterly absorbing. Whether I was cringing at Simon’s telescopic spying, a la Rear Window, or cursing James’ ill intentions, I found myself holding my breath and waiting for the inevitable downfall of Simon or James. Eisenberg delivers a convincing, if unnerving, performance that shines, particularly when Simon starts to spin out of control.
PERF’s opening night, presented by Coveted Events, was a collaboration between Citizens of Arcane and Alex Maciver. Maciver, a Perth based artist, is a graduate with BA (Hons) in Fine Art from Duncan of Jordanstone, Dundee University, UK. Having been involved in many artist-run initiatives, his first solo exhibition I May Live on as a Ghost was part of 2013 Fringe Festival. Rising to prominence, his works feature in both public and private collections, including City of Fremantle. Citizens of Arcane are an up and coming Australian clothing and accessories label manufacturing quality crafted apparel with a futuristic edge for men and women.