Live Cultures



Live Cultures is an audio archive of talks featured on Canvas, FBi’s home for art and ideas.

Each Sunday the Canvas team brings you interviews, public lectures and critical conversations on contemporary art; aiming to document Australian practice, engage with international cultural dialogues and promote rigorous and provocative projects. 

Canvas is hosted and produced by a team of artists. Host: Frances Barrett. Executive Producer: Kate Blackmore.

This project is made possible by the generous support of the Copyright Agency Cultural Fund.


  • Sunday School :: Feminist Futures, The Lucy R. Lippard Lecture


In 1975 the American art critic and curator Lucy R. Lippard came to Australia to deliver the Power Lecture at Sydney University. She also held a number of informal lectures and discussions about gender inequality in the arts and conducted studio visits with women artists. Lippard’s 1975 visit is now legendary. Reaching almost mythical status, it is said to have kick-started the Women’s Art Movement and other important feminist activities in Australia. For ‘The Lucy R. Lippard Lecture’, research duo Sunday School re-visits this historic moment through eye witness accounts, memories, and stories from those who were ‘there’. Forty years on, this project considers the legacy of feminism in Australia and how it ghosts and overlaps with the contemporary context.

Date:  26 July 2015
Presented by: Sunday School (Kelly Doley & Diana Smith)
Location: Artspace, Sydney
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  • Dr Louise Mayhew :: Australian Women’s Art


What is a woman artist? Where are our predecessors? And why aren’t women artists as valuable as men?
Dr Louise Mayhew traces the history of the Australian women’s art movement covering VNS Matrix, Brown Council, Double our Numbers and the CoUNTess.

Date: 9 May 2015
Presented by: Art Gallery Society of New South Wales as part of the ‘Women in Art Lecture Series’
Location: The Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney
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  • Sarah Rodigari Annie-B Parsons :: The Poetry Project


Sarah Rodigari and Annie B Parson give a reading at The Poetry Project in New York. Based in St. Marks Church in New York, The Poetry Project promotes, fosters and inspires the reading and writing of contemporary poetry by hosting weekly readings and special events, facilitating writing workshops, publishing an annual literary magazine and a quarterly Newsletter, and providing tape and document archives.

Date: 1 May 2015
Presented by: The Poetry Project
Location: St Mark’s Church, New York
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  • Fiona McGregor :: Cigdem Aydemir


Donna Obscura ­– A Look Behind the Veil of Cigdem Aydemir’s “Extremist Activity”

In this lecture Sydney author Fiona McGregor discusses the practice of Cigdem Aydemir. Using the veil as her canvas, Aydemir responds to Australian Islamophobia with wit and provocation, addressing notions of dress, site, bodies and the body politic.

Date: 29 April 2015
Presented by: The Power Institute for the New Eyes New Voices series sponsored by CAL.
Location: The University of Sydney
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  • Raven Row :: Holding it Together: Art Magazines, Then and Now


Panel discussion with Jennifer Higgie, Jason Farago and Jo Melvin, convened by Antony Hudek and Alex Sainsbury

What conditions compel a magazine to get started and thrive? How do magazines create and serve networks of writers and artists? What does an editor do that a writer and curator cannot? 
This discussion addresses the histories and intentions behind art magazines.

Date: 25 April 2015
Presented by: Raven Row
Location: Zilkha Auditorium, Whitechapel Gallery, London
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  • Hal Foster :: Pop Art


Prominent critic and art historian Hal Foster discusses the rapport between photography and painting in Pop Art. This keynote lecture was presented for the Pop to popism exhibition.

Date: 28 February 2015
Presented by: The Power Institute and The Art Gallery of New South Wales
Location: Art Gallery of New South Wales
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  • Hal Foster :: Contemporary Art & Mimetic Excess


In this groundbreaking lecture, Hal Foster (Professor of Art and Archaeology at Princeton University) seeks to define and highlight a different sort of avant-garde. One that is driven neither by the transgression of a given order (as with Surrealism) or the legislation of a new one (as with Russian Constructivism) – but one that makes fewer grand claims and which instead seeks fractures that already exist within the given order, to pressure them further. He argues that this avant-garde is one that is still operative in the present. Neither avant nor rear, this garde assumes a position of immanent critique. In doing so, it often adopts a posture of mimetic excess.

Date: 24 February 2015
Presented by: Sydney Ideas & the Power Institute, Foundation for Visual Arts and Culture
Location: Charles Perkins Centre, The University of Sydney
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  • Zvonimir Dobrovic :: Queer Curatorial and Artistic Practice


What is queer art today? How does the definition of queer change?
Do we need to define art as queer? What socio-political role does queer art play?

Zvonimir Dobrovic is the founder, curator and producer of Queer Zagreb and Queer New York. Since its beginning in Croatia in 2003 it has become a major international event, with an experimental program of queer works that feature artists from around the world.

Dobrovic delivers a lecture focusing on his curatorial practice, challenging the notion of “queer art” and delving into the process of programming festivals and curating works from a queer perspective. This talk was featured in Performance Space’s 2015 International Lecture Series.

Date: 23 February 2015
Presented by: Performance Space
Location: Performance Space, Sydney
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  • Vanessa Place :: The Ontology of the Rape Joke


What is the purpose of the rape joke? Do we want to listen?

Rape is an act of physical and sexual violence. Jokes are understood as a kind of psychic disruption, with humor forcing a release of pleasure. “If I wanted your opinion, I’d remove the duct tape” is a series of rape jokes collected and read by Vanessa Place, a writer, artist and criminal defense attorney. The ten-minute sound piece has been controversial since its non-debut last year, when a group of artists threatened to quit an exhibition if the piece was included. In this talk, panelists Jamieson Webster, Jeff Dolven, and Gayle Salamon consider the work and speak about the rape joke and its relation to sex, gender, politics, fantasy, voice, free speech, accusation, humor, poetry and performance.

Panelists: Vanessa Place, Jeff Dolven and Gayle Salamon. Facilitated by Jamieson Webster.

Date: 22 January 2015
Presented by: Cabinet
Location: Show Room, Brooklyn
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  • Goenawan Mohamad :: Art & Democracy


What role and agency do our artists have in shaping society, politics and democracy? How loud and courageous is their voice, and who is even listening?

Indonesian poet, playwright and public intellectual Goenawan Mohamad gives rare insight to his experiences as an artist and publisher spanning an incredible era of social and political transformation in Indonesia. He joins a panel of artists and cultural thinkers to discuss the state of Australian art and politics.

Panelists: Goenawan Mohamad, Vernon Ah Kee, Stephen Armstrong and Van Badham
Facilitator: Whitney Fitzsimmons

Date: 20 January 2015
Presented by: Australian Theatre Forum
Location: The Seymour Centre, Sydney
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