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Symptoms of Failure

Firstdraft 13-17 Riley Street, Woolloomooloo NSW 2011, Australia

Symptoms of Failure
Curated by Del Lumanta
This project is presented through the Firstdraft Mini-Festival Program

Stuart Bailey
Nina Buchanan
Del Lumanta
Isobel Parker Philip
Daryl Prondoso
Amateur Childbirth
Kell Derrig-Hall
Exotic Dog
Heat Haze
Video Ezy

Performance dates:
Wednesday 30th April, 7pm: Amateur Childbirth & Kell Derrig-Hall
Saturday 3rd May, 3pm: Heat Haze & Exotic Dog
Friday 23rd May (closing night) 7pm: Video Ezy


To identify with failure and/or to associate oneself with failure means that one has taken a position of dissatisfaction.

Symptoms of Failure aims to examine the warning signs that precipitate failure within the practice of art and the art world. In their approach to these signals, the featured artists and musicians share a dissatisfaction and cynicism towards aspects in the realm of creative practice. Despite identifying conditions of frustration, boredom/apathy and dubious value, each are persistent in their input to a variety of creative endeavours – from the showing of works, to the contributions of writing, designing and teaching.

The curator has invited the sometimes difficult, strange and beautiful musicians Amateur Childbirth (Brisbane), Heat Haze, Kell Derrig-Hall and Exotic Dog to perform in the gallery space.

On the 20th of February, 2014 the invited musicians performed at the launch of experimental songwriter Amateur Childbirth’s second LP ‘Pripyat’. It was held in a community run venue in Marrickville, Sydney. Only nine people attended the event despite the efforts of those involved. As the night progressed we all began to feel disappointed and unsure as to why the evening was so poorly attended. The restaging of the event allows us to ask questions about the environments surrounding practice and enables us to draw parallels between the ways in which the artists and musicians navigate them.

Symptoms of Failure hopes to lay bare the complexities of practice and to look beyond conventional ways of thinking about the relationship between failure and art e.g. art as failure and failure as art. Rather than accept this
relationship, it is the intention of each artist to antagonise it. In doing so, they can begin deconstruct why ‘failure’ is a term and descriptor that is so easily and readily applied to art.

To close the exhibition dystopian pop duo Video Ezy will perform.


About the curator:

Del Lumanta is an artist living in Sydney. Symptoms of Failure is the first exhibition she has curated.

Performance dates:

Wednesday 30th April, 7pm
Amateur Childbirth & Kell Derrig-Hall

Amateur Childbirth
Second LP by Brisbane acoustic pop destroyer Amateur Childbirth aka Ivan Matthew Hicks. Recorded by Joel Stern in his old Grecian home across 2012-2013, Hicks summons the lonesome ghosts of Chris Knox and the Kilgour brothers across a buncha tracks that would transmute The Madcap Laughs into even more paranoid contemporary scenarios, with lyrics that feel like scraps of found text, rejection letters, mysterious reports and self-loathing diary entries. Hicks channels the early Flying Nun singer/songwriter style with considerable aplomb, giving the nod to the cracked visions of the Shimmy Disc roster while digging into new vectors of blurry acoustic drone and edge of the bed heartbreak and confusion. Stern’s recording style is key, with enough haze and distance to situate the goings-on in a parallel universe where the ghost of Tall Dwarfs is the presiding deity and the bedroom the beating heart of the kingdom. Great loner folk-pop power-cried straight to tape, recommended. - Volcanic Tongue


Kell Derrig-Hall
writes songs, sings and plays instruments/non instruments in... The Singing Skies, Melodie Nelson, Moonmilk and Mysteries. The music he makes under his birth names is about exploring sounds with the aim of shifting his consciousness and hopefully someone else's as well.

Saturday 3rd May, 3:00pm
Heat Haze & Exotic Dog

Heat Haze
Ultra-saturated pigments by Peter Blamey and Anthony Guerra.
Exotic Dog
is the tape music project of Nic Warnock (Model Citizen, Ruined Fortune, Bed Wettin’ Bad Boys). The cassette four-track is his instrument, which he has two of and uses to create disorientating sound collages. Mundane field recordings, human voice, mechanic clangs, broken microphone squeals, cheap or not cheap synths and found audio find their way onto the cassettes. Moments are almost rhythmic and loop like, or completely abstract or somewhere in between. Live microphones or synthesizer may be used. Good-o.


Friday 23rd May (closing night) 7pm
Video Ezy

Video Ezy is a collaboration between two Sydney based musicians and artists, Nina Buchanan and Del Lumanta. Using synths, keyboards and drum machine, the pair move between dystopian pop songs and loose, repetitive jams.


Visit us
from 30 April to 23 May 2014



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