Blogpost: Mike Parr: Performances 1971-2008 book review

Posted by T • April 9, 2021

Posted by T • April 9, 2021

Mike Parr: Performances 1971 - 2008

Black Inc. Publishing

 

Mike Parr’s shadow looms large, both on international terrain but specifically on terra australis. Having emerged on his artistic mission in the early 1970s, his oeuvre encompasses not merely a vast array of media but specifically performances, which not only work on different levels but more often than not have a political message at their core.

Over the years, I have had the fortune to not only visit Parr’s exhibitions but been lucky enough to witness some of his performances very close to the action, specifically the ones we have documented via our features of the Dark Mofo festivals, which Mike Parr has created monumental events for.

Being a self-taught artist who has always been marching to the beat of his own drum, Mike Parr very early own carved his own lane and developed what can be described as a signature language and visual aesthetic with the common denominator being his complete physical and intellectual commitment to his art – a commitment that often transcends boundaries and uses his body as a medium to deal with traumata and other experiences.

Challenging societal norms , the notion of identity as a fixed concept and conventions of what is perceived to be “normal”, Parr champions imperfection and has established these themes as consistent components of his body of work.

To do justice to an artist of Mike Parr’s calibre is challenging at best and I have long sought for a book comprising a comprehensive overview of her performances. Fortunately, there is Black Inc. Publishing, an accomplished publishing house focussing on quality non-fiction, fiction and poetry, based in Melbourne. 

While there is a myriad of publishers dabbling in the arts, it is Black Inc’s passionate approach, careful curation, tailored editing and a sense for relevant new works within the confines of art, history, politics, biography, criticism and current affairs, which gives their publications an omnipresent sense of relevance and substance.

Black Inc’s tome on Mike Parr, i.e. Performances 1971 – 2008 is an homage par excellence, both paying tribute and simultaneously examining Mike Parr’s artistic endeavours and by having Mike Parr himself at the helm of the operation, it offers unparalleled access to his unique world and views.

With its pared back yet stylish and elegant packaging, Mike Parr Performances 1971 – 2008 is essential for anyone harbouring an interest for artists who have dedicated their life to pushing boundaries in every sense of the word.

T • April 9, 2021

More recent blogposts

Beethoven and Wagner vs Nietzsche

Posted by T • July 26, 2021

Beethoven: A life University of California Press   There is no shortage of books dedicated to the life of a composer whose legacy has never ceased to reverberate and impact music at large. Released to commemorate the two hundred fiftieth anniversary of his birth, what sets this biography apart in terms of authority is partly due to the unprecedented access … Read more

Water of Life – Limeburners and Earp Distillery

Posted by T • July 25, 2021

Water of Life – Limeburners and Earp Distillery   Over the last ten years, Australia has firmly established itself on the map of nations that produce quality malt whiskies. Slowly but steadily, rye whiskies created on terra australis have been making a splash on the scene with quite a few distilleries crafting their own incarnations of American style rye whiskey. … Read more

The Formative Years – Rugby and Canterbury

Posted by T • July 24, 2021

The Formative Years – Rugby and Canterbury I’ve covered the mecca that Washington DC proved to be as a hotbed for hardcore and punk as part of this series before, however, missed to shed light onto one of my favourite releases from the 1980s era, i.e. the vitally important split LP of the short-lived bands The Faith and Void.  While … Read more

The Formative Years – Hardcore Classics, pt. 1

Posted by T • July 23, 2021

The Formative Years – Hardcore classics pt. 1   With ZAP magazine playing a pivotal role in promoting and covering everything New York Hardcore related in a pro-active and prominent manner, Europe and specifically Germany have always been prime markets for hardcore emanating from the Big Apple.  The result was that “NYHC” became a veritable label and trademark and almost … Read more

The Formative Years - Ebullition Records

Posted by T • July 22, 2021

The Formative Years - Ebullition Records  The first time I heard about Ebullition Records was when there was talk around the campfire of that a gentleman that was known to me as a Maximum Rock’n’roll / No Answer zine contributor, i.e. Kent McClard, was planning to release a full length of one of my favourite bands from Orange County, California, … Read more

Thus Let Us Drink Beer - Holgate and Six String

Posted by T • July 18, 2021

Thus Let Us Drink Beer - Holgate Brewhouse and Six String Brewing   As we have outlined with our previous coverage of Holgate Brewhouse, over the last twenty years the Victorian brewery has established itself firmly on the forefront of innovative quality producers of ales that honour both the classic styles from the old world and the ever expanding and … Read more

Water of Life – Hellfire / Larrikin Distilleries

Posted by T • July 15, 2021

Water of Life – Hellfire Distillery / Larrikin Distillery   If you have followed this series with a modicum of interest and harbour a weak spot for fantastic, artisanal spirits, Tasmania would be doubtlessly be have made it on your to-visit list quite a while ago. Visiting the southernmost state of Australia twice a year, I never cease to discover … Read more

Water of Life – The Scotch Malt Whisky Society

Posted by T • July 12, 2021

Water of Life – The Scotch Malt Whisky Society   There is certainly no shortage of whisky clubs and subscription services these days and for anyone remotely into discovering new flavour nuances and variations of their favourite bottlings, joining one can prove to be a viable option. The experience those services offer ranges from basic monthly tasting kits that might … Read more

Water of Life – Milton Rum & Mad Monkey Distillery

Posted by T • July 11, 2021

Water of Life – Milton Rum and Mad Monkey Distillery   Rum has a long and at times chequered history reaching back more than six hundred years to the times dominated by Colonialism, where it did not only serve to make pirates drunk but as a means for trade. Fast forward to the present day and the renaissance that the … Read more

The Formative Years - Kill Rock Stars

Posted by T • July 10, 2021

The Formative Years - Kill Rock Stars  It would have been around 1992 that I first came about a new label that seemed to have its focus firmly set on releasing its friends’ records and the underground scene centred around Olympia, Washington. It did not take long for the label, its credo and overall outlook and aesthetic to manifest via … Read more