a festival means holding tight to something wild for the photo opportunity

‘Samey’ could have been misleading in the last post. I meant same-ily different, heterodox and differentiated; each show / event in the programme possessing a clearly separate, a recognisably different, and in sum a recognisable identity. This identity, however, is about marking difference rather than making difference or different. It is a question of image and self-conscious positioning. In other words it relies on advertising’s clichés to assert that the product thus represented is not clichéed or is above clichés.

Another point: it is one thing to announce the avant-garde, it is another to discover it; however, this is in essence what John Banks is saying. The excitement and energy of Auckland’s cultural life is restricted to a fortnight of civic celebration. So the experimental work of the avant-garde goes on underground until a festival comes around and we get the chance to take a snapshot of it. In which it is changed utterly, samey.