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The Weekend Neos Kosmos : 15 September 2018
DIGITAL.NEOSKOSMOS.COM THE WEEKEND NEOS KOSMOS | SATURDAY 15 SEPTEMBER 2018 17 ART As comedians it’s our job to tackle everything that we see and there is a lot more to the world than viewing it through a ‘wog’ lens. Adelaide’s month-long celebration of Hellenic culture returns Organisers of the Odyssey Art Prize are calling for submissions from local artists of Greek and Cypriot heritage At the presentation of last year’s Odyssey Art Prize. PHOTO: SUPPLIED the 26-year-old revealed his show covers more than just his cultural heritage. "In the process of writing the jokes and my bits, I've found that my life is comically dichotomous - in that I have these two opposing experiences," he says. "Yes there is being Greek and Italian, but then I was also an obese child and now I'm skinny. I worked in hospitality for a long time and then I worked in the corporate world. I also compare and contrast watching VHS videos when I was growing up to the world we live in now, with social media and those sorts of things. "It's really how I get the worst end of the stick when it comes to all of them but I present them in a comical way." One of the jobs that Locascio worked in during his time in the corporate world was as a liquidation accountant and it's not surprising to hear him admit that being a comedian is better for the soul. "Comedy has been a private dream but there has also been this parental expectation," he says. "I finished University and then found myself working as a liquidation accountant for years and years and throughout the whole time I really struggled to find any joy with anything I was doing. As you might be able to imagine, writing people letters that we were going to take their house was not the nicest thing to do. "The whole time I was just writing jokes for fun until I accumulated a decent amount of material to try. Then one day it hit me, I said to myself there is no reason not to give this a crack. I didn't want to be 35 years old and not have tried this at a certain point." But his comedy is by no means restricted to cultural humour. "My better jokes come Anthony performing at the Quarrymans Hotel. PHOTO: FACEBOOK (@QUARRYMANSCOMEDYCLUB) from general things that I observe as a human being as opposed to someone who is Greek or Italian," he says. "There is a limit to how far you can go conceptually with your comedy, if you just to stick to, 'oh my dad did this, my mum said this and we eat this food'. As comedians it's our job to tackle everything that we see and there is a lot more to the world than viewing it through a 'wog' lens." Taking off the wog lenses for a moment, Locascio's observation about humanity is that collectives are kind of, well, dumb. "If there is an overarching message of my comedy it is that group identity is flawed for the most part," he says. "Yes our heritage is something we should be proud of, but we should not be afraid or offended to make fun of it. The underlying fact is that we are all different no matter if our grandparents came from the same village. It's only funny to lots of people because these things are inherently ridiculous and every single person, no matter what your background, is different. "So there is no reason to dislike anybody based on any group's identification that they might hold, based on any race, colour, creed or sexual orientation." Anthony Locascio will be performing at the Sydney Fringe Comedy Festival on 26 & 28 September. Adelaide's epic Hellenic cultural festival, Odyssey returns to the City of Churches next month. Organised by the Greek Orthodox Community of SA Inc. (GOCSA), the month-long festival features a line-up of arts and cultural events, including theatre, art, and music all centred around the theme 'Cultural Destinations'. As part of the program, the Odyssey Art Prize returns. The exhibition will feature the works of local artists of Hellenic heritage, and will be on show at the festival's hub, Olympic Hall for the entire month. GOCSA is currently seeking expressions of interest from artists, and especially encourage young and new talent to display their work, and even have the opportu- nity to sell a piece. Aside from adhering to this year's theme of 'Cultural Destinations', when it comes to medium, all forms of art are accepted from painting, drawing and print making to ceramics and sculpture. Launching on Friday 5 October, participating artists will also have the opportunity to win one of three prizes. An eminent art judge, whose identity has yet to be revealed, will assess the works and select three winners. The recipient of the first prize takes home $1,000, second prize $600, and third $400. The piece of art that takes out the top prize will also become a permanent fixture in the GOCSA's gallery, while every other piece included in the exhibition will be available for purchase. The winning art prize from 2017: a 3D piece depicting the Meteora in Greece.
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