“Fuck Fabulous came about after I was at Mardi Gras in 2018. I grew up in Sydney, so I have fond memories of Mardi Gras as always being protest orientated, anarchic and messy, but the Mardi Gras I walked into felt very male and a little conservative,” Sarah Ward tells Star Observer.
A name many would know, Ward has featured at the heart of Melbourne’s iconic performance scene for decades, and this time round, will be presenting Fuck Fabulous at the Arts Centre Melbourne this Midsumma.
The anti-glamour, neo-punk show takes a sledgehammer to the commodification of identities and celebrates the queer artists and allies who are all too often left out of the picture.
“See, there is something going on with the representation of ‘queer’ in the mainstream that is concerning me. I feel certain aspects of queer culture are being commodified and marketed, and while it’s great having representation, queers of colour, those who are non-binary, women and dykes, they are often left sidelined.
“One thing that is really exciting me at the moment is work that isn’t conservative, so I like to think a lot about the idea of mess as protest. We often like to see our art wrapped up and boxed in a way that’s very palatable and very marketable but our show even in its name is unsellable, the name itself is a warning and a protest.”
With an eclectic and fierce line-up of dance, circus, drag, comedy and performance artists, Fuck Fabulous rejoices in diverse identities and sticks up a firm middle finger to the status quo. The show features the likes of Koko Ma$$ Bec Matthews, Krishna Istha, Nicci Wilks and Glitter & Snatch.
“We fashioned the art pieces in the work on this idea I had of punk or trash fashion. For me the show is as much a trash fashion show which meets visual arts and activism meets performance art with a lot of punk ridiculousness thrown in as well,” Ward adds. “
When we performed it for Mardi Gras, people lost their minds and word of mouth spread really quickly and people adored it. I feel after last year, it’s interesting that people had work they were developing that was postponed, and they like us had to ask, ‘is this still relevant in 2021’ and for this show, it is still relevant and perhaps even more so, because it is creating queer new worlds when we need them most.”
Fuck Fabulous opens at the Arts Centre Melbourne on April 20
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