I Promise It Will Always Be This Way: the Launceston edition

August 02 2012

​So far I have caught up with and chatted to local artists who will be contributing to Junction Arts Festival 2012. However this week I managed to exchange a few emails with Jon Sasaki, a Canadian fellow who is bringing I Promise it Will Always Be This Way to Tasmanian shores for Junction Arts Festival 2012. This endurance performance promises to be like no other performance you have seen.

The piece was inspired by a stadium and the “spectacle, scale, expectation and exuberance” that is part of a stadium experience. Jon notes that this concept was refined further by “framing the team mascot as an embodiment of enthusiasm. The piece became an endurance performance, as the mascots tried to maintain their zeal for twelve long hours. The most exciting part of the night was the fact that we didn’t exactly know how it would play out… there was the potential for audience interaction to significantly change the course of the performance”.

Jon first staged the piece at Nuit Blanche, an all-night contemporary art festival held in Toronto, Canada in 2008. Junction Arts Festival’s Festival Director, Natalie De Vito, just happened to be there and see the piece. Fast forward four years, and their curiosity to see how the piece unfolds in Launceston will be satisfied. Jon is keen to see our local traditions in practice, and can’t wait to check out a sausage sizzle and sample a “show bag” – I get the feeling these will be integrated into the piece which has been adapted for its Launceston location. This will be Jon’s first trip to Australia, and he thinks he knows largely what to expect. Jon said: “I watched all eight episodes of Summer Heights High. That show represents an accurate cross section, right?” I think I might leave John hanging on that one, and he might be pleasantly surprised.

Why should the population of Launceston put I Promise It Will Always Be This Way on their Junction Arts Festival 2012 to do list? Jon said: “By being there people will complete the piece! We’ll find out together what the outcome will be.” I know I am keen to check out the Tasmanian mascots take centre stage and see what part I can play in this energetic social experiment.