Ralph has a pragmatic attitude to whose needs the theatre is serving. Belvoir has as a particular covenant with it’s audience as an artistic Director he didn’t see his role as serving the needs of the artistic community, so much as supporting this covenant. He found it surprising that content seemed to no longer shock audiences but breaking the conventions of the traditional theatre form does. Ralph said that there is a lack of political work at the moment and that perhaps this is a generational issue. Lara and Jason speculated that perhaps radicalism was now a formal concern? Ralph would love people to propose more radical and political work.
Ralph is aware of the term live art but somewhat mystified by it’s meaning – he sees the demarcation between art forms as arbitrary as the border between NSW and Victoria. Occasionally the live art scene in Sydney has an aesthetic tendency to fetishise failure. It is not intriguing, not entertaining and not shocking. Just boring. He indicated a tendency for funding to go towards somewhat nascent art forms or projects that reflected a trend not a level of sophistication.
They spoke at length about the long history of performativity and Ralph commented that “people have been making theatre outside of theatres for longer than they have inside them” As a set designer, he gave them a tiny chair replica of the one Jason sat on which we are have put in out office.