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The Performance Arcade

By Meredith 17 Feb 2015

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Most Wellingtonians will know what you are talking about if you describe the series of shipping containers that appear on our waterfront about this time each year. The Performance Arcade boasts performances and installations in and around their container mass, live music and culinary art, and moving image works around the Arcade architecture.

Where to start! The Performance Arcade is an exciting and inclusive mini-festival that is completely free. There are always a ton of opportunities to participate in the happenings, and they even run a series of installations and events specifically for kids.

Artists hail from all over the world including Australia, UK, USA, Germany, Tonga, and of course, a seriously good line up of New Zealand creatives. Kelsey Woodford’s Viewing #2 asks passers-by to pose for a nude photographer and in turn captures a series of awkward and bashful images. Debbie Fish and Lisa Taylor present Rainscape, an interactive container where projections convince you it is raining inside. As you walk through the space alters according to your footsteps and movements; like puddle jumping without the wet pant legs.

All of the work on show operates in the in-between of performing and visual arts, as they say in their community manifesto “we are the people who do not belong in the black box of the theatre or the white cube of the gallery.” In all Performance Arcade work I have experienced in the past there has been a strong sentiment of the individual and independent; outdoor democratic art at its best. And what a venue it is!

It doesn’t matter whether you are someone who likes to make a plan and make sure they get to certain events, or if you just rely on serendipity and turn up; you won't be disappointed.

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