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The States (2009)

Gospel music, Dadaesque spoken word, hand-made paper constructions, magnetic sculptures, abstract language posted on a run-through banner, Chinese violin and homemade electronics. These are the elements which make up The States, a new multi-media performance by New Zealand-American writer Craig Foltz, Brisbane composer Erik Griswold, and Darwin artist Sarah Pirrie. On the eve of Obama's election, the creative trio offered reflections on the state of the United States from an expatriate perspective.

The States was developed with support from Arts Queensland, Bundanon National Trust, and the Judith Wright Centre, where it was premiered Oct. 1-3, 2009. It is the third collaboration of Foltz, Griswold and Pirrie, following Other Planes (2000) and Permanent Transit (2002).

"It was as though entering the aftermath of a fantasy carnival in the Midwest. Except that Nicholas Ng was warming up on the Erhu. A kind of nostalgia was palpable from the beginning; but a nostalgia mixed with an exotic strangeness, and an ironic distance...When the concert got officially underway, this fascinating mix of nostalgia, the exotic, and the new, only took a more interesting and compelling form...indeed, despite (or because of) the quirks, this was a beautiful concert." - Liam Flenady, Resonate Magazine

Who: Writer Craig Foltz Composer Erik Griswold Artist Sarah Pirrie Musicians Alison St Ledger, Steve Newcomb, Nicholas Ng, Joel Stern Video Simon Wearne Photos Sharka Bosakova, Sarah Pirrie
What: A multi-media performance-installation exploring the Obama United States from an expatriate perspective.
When & Where
1-3 October 2009 @ Judith Wright Centre of Contemporary Arts

Arts Queensland Griffith University