Skinny latte with daring texts and probing photos


Kam Buckley’s KafeGonzo, in its newer, more spacious location in the cinema building at the north end of Todd Mall, still has the same trendy vibe, but it is now packed to the rafters with paintings, pictures, books, novels and magazines in organised chaos.
These works come from all over the world. Most are signed. Local music, sweets, clothing and art are on sale. Well-chosen music pumps from the speakers.
Once, as I waited for my skinny latte, I sat on the couch and picked up what looked like an innocent children’s book. Wrong.
I nearly fell off my seat: the vulgarity! It was hysterical. I couldn’t stop reading this strange, stick-people, one-liner book, laughing at how inappropriate it was. It intensely reminded me to not take life so seriously.
I really feel like a kid again whenever I go in there; so curious, so willing to explore and learn about everything inside this popular culture information hub which Kam calls a “Kaffee Klatsch” – ‘Klatsch’ being the Viennese word for chatter.
James Tudor’s Closing the Gap is on show till tomorrow night in KafeGonzo, coinciding with the Human Rights Arts and Film Festival organised by Kam and showing in the cinemas inside. I had no idea what it was about, or what to expect, nor did I ask. Slowly, I explored each photo and quickly began to adore them.
James describes them as “constructed images to explore a range of issues facing both indigenous and non-indigenous people concerning the economic and social environment of Central Australia. Each image creates a fictional scene based on reported facts, stories or points of view”.
Having taken numerous graphic design courses, I initially couldn’t help but fixate on James’ acute Photoshop skills. Once that feeling blew over, I could connect with the ideas behind the images – controversial thoughts and conversations we’ve nearly all had while living here in Alice.
PHOTO: Kam (at right in the photo) with James.



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