Vivid Festival

Sydney Travel Blog

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Sinking, firey DOOM with the Sydney Harbour Bridge in the background.
Sydney has this uncanny ability to hold free festivals without my knowing.  There's always something happening in this city!  Last weekend was the Blues and Jazz Fest at Darling Harbour.  Didn't know about it until the Thursday before that long weekend - and I only discovered the festival because I decided to walk through Darling Harbour on my way home that day.  The festival itself was loads of fun with several stages scattered around the area and a great fireworks show in the evening right behind the floating main stage. This city sure knows how to do fireworks!

And fire for that matter.  This past weekend we explored Vivid Festival at the Rocks.
My shitty camera's photo of some of Firewater with the lit up Opera House in the background.
  It's an art installation festival revolving around the use of light an artistic medium.  Sounded great on the website. 

We started the night watching an outdoor performance called Firewater.  The crowd sat around the water's edge as the actors performed right on the water.  The show was the retelling of the story of a prisoner ship that landed in Australia back in the days the country was just a penal colony.  The ship burst into flames along with the prisoners aboard.  There were no prisoners aboard a firey ship in this show, but there sure was a ship (a small one constructed for the show).  It was raised right out of the water in the middle of the performance to the great surprise of everyone there.  And there sure was fire.  They actually lit the whole thing on fire at the end of the show and sunk it back into the water.  Pretty impressive feat!  It was particularly awesome because the whole show was performed with the Sydney Harbour Bridge in the background.  The Opera House was just to the right and it was lit up with fantastic patterns of colour lite from a powerful projector.  I tried to take photos on my shitty camera phone but my shitty camera phone has a shitty camera.  Again - me in the city without a camera!

The rest of Vivid turned out to be a load of crap.  We wandered around the other installation pieces scattered around the Rocks area and they all seemed to be pretty lame.  And I'm not one of those anti-art people.  I've seen plenty amazing installation art around different cities and I really enjoy these types of festivals.  But when you have an art piece entitled "Tree and Bench" and all there is to it is some blue flood lights pointing to a tree's trunk and another yellow light pointing down to the bench next to it, you can't help but think that it's a load of crap.

In the end we decided to just finish the night with some drinks on a rooftop patio with great views of the Opera House and its changing projected patterns and colours.  Other than the Firewater show, the Opera House lighting was the best part of Vivid Fest. 
Connie says:
It's crap like that that gives art a bad rep. It's one thing to make a conceptual piece - It's completely another thing to create crap and justify it by claiming some metaphysical tripe so far removed from the artwork that no one could possibly make the connection.
Posted on: Jul 17, 2009
Transitory says:
That's the sort of brainless conceptual bullshit in modern art that bugs me too. Where did the skill go? Or if not skill at least, an inventive idea. I blame DuChamp.
Posted on: Jul 17, 2009
Connie says:
Actually, the worst one was a blue flood light up in a tree in the park. I forgot the name of that piece so we just referred to it as "Blue light in tree".
Posted on: Jun 15, 2009
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