Gerard Crewdson’s ‘Weasel Words’ + Artist Talk – 02/04/2016

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Extraordinary artist/musician/performer/activist Gerard Crewdson performs ‘Weasel Words’, followed by an informal artist talk referencing his current exhibition ‘Lost Worlds’ and his life as an artist/musician and political activist.

The Audio Foundation is also proud to present the publication of ‘The Procrustean Bed’ by Gerard, a classic Crewdson story told in his inimitable hand drawn style. Limited to 20 copies.

Over a nomadic career of collaboration, now spanning almost 40 years, Crewdson has developed a highly personal artistic, theatrical and musical practice. He is now back in Wellington, where he continues working as a ‘senior member’ of the city’s adventurous fringe. Having returned to his hometown, Crewdson maintains a collaborative ethic, in recent times in association with Zirkus (a large band performing compositions by Rosie Langabeer), Die Henkel Spur, and Orchestra of Spheres with whom he performs regularly in addition to designing sets and costumes.

The history of Crewdson’s interdisciplinary activity – spanning artistic, musical, theatrical and political terrain – begins in Wellington where, in the early 1980’s, he was a part of The Braille Collective, a radical and political group who performed original compositions with an emphasis on non-standard musical structure and collective improvisation. The approach of the Collective had roots in the European avant-garde, combining influence from the Dadaist and Fluxus movements with electronic music, progressive rock, and Asian and Pacifica musical traditions, in order to arrive at something new, vital and all together unique.

In 1986, Crewdson moved to Australia, eventually settling in Sydney where he undertook formal study at the Sydney College of the Arts. During this time, he created public performance works with a pointed emphasis on political critique and intermedia experimentation. While situated in Sydney, Crewdson played an active part within the city’s burgeoning noise and experimental scenes, collaborating with the brilliant jazz player come ‘experimental electronic wizard’ Jamie Fielding, Anthony Riddell (a.k.a. Lester Vat), and the instrument-maker, musician and sculptor Dale Gorfinkle. Crewdson’s time in Sydney is also notable for his work with environmental/anti-war performance group The Bare Earth Blasters, and for his involvement in the transcontinental, interdisciplinary dance/theatre group, headed by performer/directors Tess de Quincey and Stuart Lynch, for whom he created soundscapes 1991 – 1996.

Following his work with the de Qunicey Company, Crewdson went on to perform frequently with The Sydney Splinter Orchestra, a large electro-acoustic improvising ensemble for whom he devised “loose compositional tools” between 2006 – 2011. In relation to this, Crewdson also performed with a European offshoot, the Berlin Splitter Orkest, a locally based and globally networked long-term platform for the exchange of artistic ideas. This group deliberately denied established leadership roles in order to create an experimental production field in the creative borderland between composed and improvised music.1

For ‘Lost Worlds: Works on Paper and Sound Pieces’, Crewdson will exhibit five new and recent works, (re-)conceived especially for the AF Gallery, each of which take from his long term interest in political, environmentally-engaged, collaborative and intermedia art making: a series of three-dimensional works of recycled-paper pulp; a conceptual “sound in your mind” piece produced in collaboration with Orchestra of Spheres; another, originally developed with The Splinter Orchestra, inspired by language developed by Tzarist Russian prisoners; a large ‘sound-cloud’ sculpture; and a heartbreaking wall-scale drawing depicting his 2009 solo lament for the victims of a (largely forgotten) experiment in mass murder conducted in Brandenburg, Germany in January 1940.


1. For more, see; (accessed 19th February, 2016)