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Testing Grounds

Testing Grounds

Aphids studio


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During their time at Testing Grounds, Aphids will workers of the gig economy to create a new live artwork called Easy Riders, which asks: how much of our daily lives should be lived by others? What are the moral and social implications of outsourcing? And who do we become once we become fully outsourced?

APHIDS is a 25-year-old artist-led experimental art organisation based in Melbourne, Australia. Collaborative and future-focused, APHIDS is led by Co-Directors Eugenia Lim, Lara Thoms and Mish Grigor. The work of APHIDS is feminist, intersectional, angry and funny; bringing artists into meaningful exchange with audiences through performance, critical dialogue and unpredictable encounters in the public realm.

Past APHIDS works have been presented in major venues in every state and territory in Australia, and in more unexpected places: in ricefields and samurai hotels in Japan, churches in Finland, industrial zones in Bulgaria, and beamed into outer space. Our collaborators have included funeral directors, scientists, regional societies, motorcycle and senior citizens’ clubs. Our projects promote open, accessible yet complex and rigorous encounters between artists and public.

APHIDS was founded in 1994 by Artistic Director/composer David Young, writer/musician Cynthia Troup, visual artist Sarah Pirrie and fashion designer Kath Banger. In 2010, Willoh S. Weiland joined the company as Artistic Director putting her own unique mark on the company ethos with an experimental and innovative program fusing music, performance and new technologies. In 2019, APHIDS enters into a new era to make urgent art for urgent times, led by co-directors Eugenia Lim, Lara Thoms and Mish Grigor.


November 2019

The APHIDS team have been heads down the last few weeks, deep in production for our upcoming show Exit Strategies, which opens at Arts House on the 14th of November. Please come along!

Exit Strategies is about leaving. It’s about feeling stuck, of wanting to know if we should stay or go. The feeling you get when you’ve just ordered at a restaurant and then a rodent catches your eye as it dashes from one side of the kitchen to another. Or when you consider breaking up with someone but stay, even though you know its the wrong thing; because there is something unknown and unspeakable holding you in that room: habit or fear or comfort or whatever. It’s the feeling that dredges through you when you think about the country you live in, and wonder if you belong there – perhaps because you’ve been displaced, or moved around from where you want to be, or if the people in charge of that place just don’t represent you, or maybe because you want to escape and start fresh. These thoughts of leaving form a scale in Exit Strategies – from big exits to small ones, from meaningful endings to cheap avoidances.

This is the first chance for the APHIDS co-directors to work together on new work in an intensive way. Eugenia has taken on set and design and Lara is dramaturg, Mish as a performer. After ten months of Co-Directing together at APHIDS, this has been a great meeting of skills and minds.

Mish in Exit Strategies