‘What’s being done now in all of the cities – all over the world – is removing the alternative, removing the bohemian, taking the rock and roll, the funk, the poetry right out of it … I want to offer an alternative.’
Meet Penny Arcade: performance artist, author, actress and documentary-maker. A former ‘superstar’ of Andy Warhol’s Factory, Arcade is an enduring figure of 1960s New York counterculture.
Brash, funny and razor-sharp, Arcade’s body of work shows an ongoing preoccupation with themes of sexuality, censorship, gentrification and the avant-garde. In Arcade’s first visit to Melbourne after a 20-year absence, she comes to the Wheeler Centre to talk about gentrification – of neighbourhoods, cities and ideas – and how a previous visit to Melbourne shaped her thinking.
Presented in partnership with Theatre Works.
Penny Arcade is one of a handful of artists who created performance art as we know it today. In 1967 she debuted with John Vaccaro's explosive Playhouse of the Ridiculous and in 1969 became an Andy Warhol Factory Superstar. A contemporary of Patti Smith and Debbie Harry, Quentin Crisp named Penny Arcade as his soul mate and the woman he most identified with.
Arcade last toured Australia with her internationally acclaimed sex and censorship show 'Bitch! Dyke! Faghag! Whore!'
Richard Watts is a writer, broadcaster and critic, and the host of 3RRR’s flagship arts program, SmartArts.