Wartime Art

a production

Background

Wartime Art was a live → ↑ → project. The line-up featured drums, two synthesizers, and 3 saxophones. Most of the songs were cover-versions (including some pieces which originally appeared on the Caprice EP). The performers were dressed in mock military attire - not the combat sort, but the more formal administrative type. Wartime Art was inspired by what then marked what in hindsight might have been the first corporatized marketing of Australian national identity, as Australians started to fall in love with their constructed image of heroicism. In keeping with this new marketing of 'Australia', the group performed dressed as pen-pushers not sword-wielders, playing militaristic music assembled more in the boardroom than on the battlefield.

Jump Club, Melbourne © 1981

Credits

Compositions, arrangements & drums - Philip Brophy
Synthesizers - Maria Kozic & Leigh Parkhill
Saxophones - Ralph Traviato, Kim Beissel & Ernie Althoff

1980

Clifton Hill Community Music Centre, Melbourne

1981

Melbourne - Ballroom Music; Jump Club; Oxford Hotel
3PBS-FM Live to Air concert

Jump Club, Melbourne © 1981

Overview

From the original programme

Wartime Art does not concern itself with images of war made attractive and usable through their cultural saturation. Wartime Art looks more specifically at that cultural saturation as an ideological process that works upon us continually. During wartime it is visible and called 'propaganda'. But outside of wartime it becomes invisible. In this case, wartime never ends. It is around us always. Wartime Art is thus 'art' during 'wartime'.

(...) By this, we mean to ask the question: where are the artists of this wartime? where will they emerge from, and what would or could they say? In short, would the artist of today (living an existence that pampers his/her actions and works with the security that he/she is essentially "an artist") have the power of the voice of an artist? Or would the artist of today only be able to hold up an image of himself/herself "being" an artist?

(...) Wartime Art looks at semiology in the songs of war, simply through playing the songs of the '40s now. The songs of Wartime Art are not musical re-arrangements - they are semiological re-arrangements.

Oxford Hotel, Melbourne © 1981

Technical

Set list

1. Colonel Bogey
2. Move Into A Bigger World
3. Reveille
4. Moonlight Serenade
5. OK Let's Move 'Em Out
6. You're In The Army Now
7. C'mon Aussie C'mon
8. String Of Pearls
9. Twelve Days Of Christmas