Little Wolf Parade

Music by Red BearRachel Fenwick                                                                                      

Little Wolf Parade                                                                                                  

10th November 2012

Saturday was the most surreal night of my life. I left reality at the door of 8 Stoney Street and entered the dream, or perhaps nightmare, world of Little Wolf Parade; where anything went and the unthinkable was happening right before my eyes. Entering the unknown, we were blindfolded and told to have complete trust in our guide. Passed from person to person, and then handed a complimentary drink was our initiation into the space, but that was just the beginning of the night, a night that we were told at the door; was our own adventure.

Little Wolf Parade aimed to create a space where the boundaries of Art, Music and Sound blur. Greeted in the first room, with live music, intense performance acts and more to see upstairs and outside, the night was a whirlwind of exploration that certainly broke all those boundaries. Where usually a band would follow another, and perform to an audience who had come specially to see that act, Wolf Parade smashed those boundaries and placed performance artists amongst the line up of musicians along with, sculptural, photography and installation artwork.

In some respects perhaps there was a little too much going on. Some art work I felt got a little lost in the hustle bustle of the live acts. The photography particularly I felt got overlooked in the environment it was shown in. It was difficult to navigate yourself and your time to ensure you didn’t miss anything. I wanted to see it all but couldn’t possibly engage in everything, there was just so much going on, so much to immerse yourself in. The night really was your adventure; I really got the sense that it was my dream to steer the way I wanted.

Its Jullieann O’Malley’s performance; Salty Milk: Violation of Expectation, which has really imprinted into my mind. Crept into my subconscious and I think will stay there for life. The performance space upstairs had a wooden table in the middle, 400 shot glasses of milk surrounding it, a real pig head mounted onto shelves and the artist herself in bare feet, a vintage floral dress and attached to her stomach a clear mould made to look like her pregnant belly with the foetus in there visible to see. Throughout the performance Jullieann O’Malley kept a constant stare with audience. She moved slowly and uncomfortably around the milk, engaging the entire audience in her every move, disturbing me to an extent that I felt like she was looking at me personally and asking “why are you letting me undergo this torture?” As she slowly shot back the milk (which half way through I found out also had salt in) I just kept thinking to myself she can’t possibly drink all that milk! As the performance went on she was sick multiple times, the milk spilling out onto the floor in front of us. She held her stomach on several occasions forcing me to think of her unborn child which seemed to be the reason she was suffering. She engaged with the audience subjecting us to eat gingerbread and we watched her write multiple times the words I love you onto posted notes.

The most disturbing part for most was the moment which O’Malley sensuously massaged cream onto the pig head and continued to shave the pig, removing the cream into a glass, which to my disbelief she then drank! The audience made noises of disgust but yet no one stopped her. It’s this human behaviour in our role as the audience in this piece which really intrigued me. When the performance ended I questioned whether I had wanted her to have done something even more shocking; to have eaten the pig possibly? Why did I want this human being to suffer even more than she had? The performance provoked a lot of questioning amongst the crowd. A very feminist act, which made me consider how she portrayed the domestic role as mother and wife. I felt she captured the sense of a woman doing what she needed to do with no questions asked. A woman tied into loving someone. She forced the notion into my head that she was doing it for them! The man she loved and her unborn child. She would do anything for them.