Athena Thebus, Doggy (2017) performance at IMA, Brisbane. Courtesy the artist. Photograph: Savannah van der Niet.

Saturday 12 May, 4pm-6pm

Katherine Botten (VIC)
Lonelyspeck (SA)
Grace Marlow (SA)
Sione Monu (NZ)
Athena Thebus (NSW)



  • Wheelchair Access

Proximity can be what you struggle for; separation what you fight against.” Sara Ahmed

Be embraced by a series of live performances and actions that draw audiences together to collectively experience sensations of intimacy, care, healing and support.

As an extension of Into My Arms, ACE Open presents a suite of live performances that invites audiences to consider ‘the embrace’ as a performative gesture. The program includes a presentation of flower garlands, newly commissioned and site-responsive performances, and a specially-conceived live set by local musician and visual artist, Lonelyspeck. Drawing on the history of performance and action at the site of ACE Open, (formerly the Australian Experimental Art Foundation), the program will concretely locate gestures of support, intimacy and care within the context of the gallery. In doing so, audiences will be able to witness and feel the ways that current practices of social and political resilience are shaped by artists.

Sione Monu, ‘Kahoa Kakala’ (2018)
Connecting place, people and different environments, New Zealand-based artist Sion Monu’s practice reinterprets traditional practices for contemporary contexts. For Kahoa Kakala, Monu has worked with local emerging artists to create a series of Tongan flower garlands on display for the duration of the event.

Athena Thebus, ‘Doggy’ (2018)
How do you describe a feeling? Kylie
asks at the beginning of the song
In My Arms

I’ve only ever dreamt of this.

As part of their installation work, Dreaming of about you woke me up (2017 – ), Athena Thebus will perform the text work, Doggy, which has inspired the artist’s immersive reading room.

Grace Marlow, ‘(again, back remain through’ (2018)
(again, back remain through is a commissioned performance by Grace Marlow, that embraces the site of ACE Open, its memory of experimental performance art, and the artists time researching and working in the space. This new work negotiates ideas of the performative, reiterative function of language to consider the structural conditions of an embrace, and undertakes acts of translation from one form into another – written, vocalised, inscribed – and asks how can an embrace be performed in a body and through language.

Lonelyspeck, ‘Lave’ (2018)
Surround yourself with the intimate world of Adelaide-based musician and visual artist, Lonelyspeck. Devised specially for this program, Lonelyspeck will perform their 2017 EP, Lave, within the gallery and working with the acoustics of the space to create a wholly immersive experience.

Katherine Botten ‘KB B2B Process-Product (DJ Set)’ (2018)
Many loves, in the form of non-romantic relationships (forcing myself to believe). Many families in the form of every single leaf on any tree (so much empty reframing). Aphex Twin – Airflow. Camila Cabello – Never Be The Same. Chingy – One Call Away. Swiggle swiggle moosh mash.

Katherine Botten will activate the text that forms one half of her poster installation, Untitled (showing up for your life) (2018).