I was not planning to take any photos for Sydney Gay & Lesbian Mardi Gras this year (2010) but the night before the parade, the producer told me they could get me an access to the rooftop of Oxford Hotel and I could do whatever I want up there. I could not resist the temptation to create a classic time lapse of the Mardi Gras Parade.
It was shot manually frame by frame therefore the time ratio was intentionally various on what happened on the street. For instance, The clean up in the last few seconds in the video actually took as much the same time as the parade itself.
Music “Fast Forward (Flowchart Remix)” by Lali Puna
I actually shot three birds in one stone on the first night photographing for Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras Festival this year. There were two performances and a dance party happened in one night: The Undressing Room, Betcha Thought I Was Dead and an Arabic theme party—Ya Liel.
I will not be photographing Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras this year. The works from the previous year will be exhibited as slideshows in until new ones roll in. And there will be an exclusive show that is not included in Mardi Gras event calendar in World Square. More details to come.
The hi-light of my Mardi Gras work would be the Harbour Party. Once I press the button and got this series of light and shadow on the dance floor, I knew that it would be a good slideshow. By the time I got my head around to put them together would be too late. So I held this work until now.
Out of the blue, I am contacted by Focus Theatre and asked for my photography of Sydney Gay & Lesbian Mardi Gras Party in their production of Blowing Whistles in Sydney, Adelaide and London. I say why not. Blowing Whistles is about contemporary gay culture. Two men is celebrating their tenth anniversary relationship on the eve of Mardi Gras and cruising for another guy online. That changes their lives forever.
I have not seen the show and am curious how my photographs are put in the show. London show is adapted for the local scene but they could not find suitable London gay party scene images for it. So they use mine which you cannot really identify specific scenes anyway. That makes me think how you put yourself into what you see and photograph.
For the past couple of years, I believe that we, a group of Flickr’s Sydney PhotoBloggers and photography students, has brought a new level of how the events can be documented and expressed on photography via Robert McGrath of Darlinghurst ArtSpace. However, they still choose happy snappy shots and publish them on their photo galleries after all. I take my viewers to explore the other side: up-close, candid and chaotic. Of course, they will not appear in a place that tries to sell you party tickets.
I always ask questions about being a queer. It seems too easy to be who you are these days. We almost have everything that we have been standing for: acceptance, equality and so on. What next when we have all of those. What are we going to fight for when we get the rights as any other people. Although we have passed the point that no one gives a damn of your gender, age, race or sexual preference, there still is discrimination agianst everything at some level even within gay & lesbien community itself. It is time to see ourselves and stop asking for those rights but start acting as we deserve them with respect. Yes, respect. If we want one, we have give one also.
Blowing Whistles is showing in Sydney until 15 November at Darlinghurst Theatre and will be a part of Feast Festival 08, Adelaide, at Bake House Theatre, 18-23 November. And it is showing in London until 29 November at Leicester Square Theatre.
69 shots of where people set there bottoms down at Fair Day of Sydney Gay & Lesbian Mardi Gras 2008 Festival.
While New Mardi Gras is releasing their official images of Mardi Gras Slide Show, I have my own angle of the events. It is obvious what fascinates my eyes at Fair Day. The colourful stuff they bring along on the day reflects the diversity of the community.