A Live Art event led by neurodiverse young people
Genius has been created by Amelia Ducker and St Martins Youth Arts Centre.
It first premiered at the Festival of Live Art in 2016, followed by a re-imagining of the project in 2017 at the Abbotsford Convent.
Directed as an interactive live-art event, Genius invites audiences into a series of immersive encounters with six unique thinkers, where each genius presents their perspective on the topic of their expertise. The experience is a surprising, eclectic walk through the inner- workings of a group of exceptional minds.
The process began when Amelia met Max in 2010, when she was in her first year of teaching at a school in Melbourne’s East. What started as an extraordinary conversation about Royalty and letter writing on yard duty, turned into the beginning of a process that slowly started to reveal itself. In another classroom 3 years later, Amelia met Will, who turned up to a St Martins workshop and began a weekly ritual of drawing curious and amazingly elaborate cartoons on the back of the whiteboard- in an attempt to entertain himself during class.
After working with Max and Will, the seed of continuing to work with neuro-diverse people continued and another four young people were found to be part of the work.
Throughout a process of extreme collaboration, a series of unique and immersive encounter’s were created. Each encounter varying in style, form and content to reflect the area’s of interest of the desire’s of the cast member’s.
The final work included,
A walk into an Existentialist Art Gallery- which featured live drawing and an animation made in collaboration with artist Sal Cooper.
A linguistics Laboratory- which was framed as a lesson.
A Sanctuary of Known and unknown Australian Animals- framed as a mini tour featuring hand made pottery of Australian animals.
An interval speech about perception- created by the only female within the cast, Summer, who we are lucky to have with us today. The Utopian Civilisation - A lecture given to audience member’s based on a newly created social theory and manifesto created by one of the cast members.
The Kingdom of Crowns- A talk about Royal Families of the world, Royal Letter writing and a Rock Concert featuring the live performance of ‘King Carl the Cool’ made for the King of Sweden.
As neuro-typical people, we forget that a lot of the public, educational and institutional spaces have been created to cater for the majority. So the spaces within Genius have been made in the opposite way, the framework slowly building itself through the desires and needs of the cast. Genius is set to remind us that we are all on our own spectrums, and there are may points of overlap between those of us who are neuro-typical and those of us who are neurodiverse.
At the core of Genius the desire to find that beautiful point of intersection.
Conceived and directed by Amelia Ducker,
FOLA (Festival of Live Art)
Designed by Amaya Vercellio.
Sound: Ben Td
Collaborators: Sally Lewry, Kate Sherman,
Artist Support: Lyndsay Marsden
Collaborator/ Dramaturg: Tom Middleditch
Stage Manager: Jo Leishman
Performers: Max Beale, Ted Hargreaves, Christian Tsoutsouvas, Julian Bennetto, William Hager & Katrina Chong.
Designed by Anna Cordingley
Sound: Ben TD
Supporting Artist: Alex Walker
Lighting: Lisa Mibus
Stage Manager/ Production Manager / Video clip collaborator: Jo Leishman