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The Art of Discomfort


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Art is often an expression of society’s most uncomfortable questions; a place where audiences’ unresolved dilemmas find some company. How – and why – is art equipped to take on topics that might otherwise be off-limits?

Let’s talk to some people familiar with the question. D.A. Calf is a theatremaker with The Guerrilla Museum, whose immersive live art has looked closely at death. Scott Price is an actor and a key deviser with Back to Back Theatre with a well-known penchant for provocation. And Jessica Thom has blogged extensively about her life with Tourette’s – at her website, you can cast ‘funny votes’ for almost 6,000 of her tics – while, as alter ego Touretteshero, sharing the creative, playful side of the often misunderstood condition.

Together in discussion with Emily Sexton, we’ll hear from these artists whose creative work veers close to boundaries – whether death, censorship, trust or the base conditions of our existence.


D.A. Calf

D.A.Calf is a sound and installation artist, musician, composer and producer. He is one half of The Guerrilla Museum, an immersive theatre/live art company whose work Funeral features at Melbourne Festival 2016. His works have appeared at DarkMOFO, Brisbane Festival, Adelaide Fringe, Melbourne ... Read more

Jess Thom

Writer, artist and part time superhero, Jess Thom co-founded Touretteshero in 2010 as a creative response to her experience of living with Tourette’s syndrome. Touretteshero is about reclaiming the most frequently misunderstood condition on the planet, challenging people to think differen... Read more

Emily Sexton

Emily Sexton is a former Head of Programming for the Wheeler Centre for Books, Writing and Ideas. She was the recipient of a prestigious Sidney Myer Creative Fellowship in 2014. Previously, she was Artistic Director of Next Wave (2010–14), where her key achievements were a radical rethink of an ar... Read more


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