Ben Peek (benpeek) wrote,
Ben Peek

  • Music:

After the Mardi Gras Party: an Arq Vignette.

Both dancefloors at Arq are accessible from the foyer thru revolving doors.
There is something menacing about a revolving door. The menace lies in that
it is relentless. Anything relentless is bound to cause trouble.

A revolving door is a paradox, a perfectly permeable barrier. Never open &
never closed it makes it's own rules.

It's continues it's spin regardless of our intention to go in or out, it is
indifferent in it's ability to cope with both intentions. It's speed set by
an unseen hand it allows for no hesitation. On step in & we are whisked into
a neutral place, neither in nor out, temporarily trapped in a glass cell,
our control taken away from us until it whisks us into the irregularly lit
dancing mass of flesh, or ejects us into the foyer.

The unceasing revolution is much like the club itself which stay open far
longer than other venues. It's constant clockwise movement is an invitation
to join the eternal undulation of the dancers that can be seen thru the

Sitting on the lounges on the downstairs stage I looked around at the people
left in Arq. Many were pretty tragic at that stage. One girl particularly
caught my attention, a bouncy, elfin girl with her one piece skirt dangling
around her waist. Her exuberance was a fine example of freedom & tolerance
in theory, and I was pleased to be part of a community in which people feel
free enough to get their gear off, but these abstract concepts seemed
unrelated to the reality of her breasts jangling in my field of vision as
she danced. I had to wonder if the external demonstrations of freedom, the
nudity, the casual & easy friendships, the fashion, & the liberal attitude
towards sex & drugs are representative of real identity freedoms that the
patrons have acquired or are they simply external symbols of freedom?

Symbols procured to take the place of real freedom of identity, freedom that
I feel anyone who takes those volumes of drugs, spends that amount of time
in a single venue & who cultivates "friendships" that are limited to that
venue are unlikely to possess.

The people still dancing before I chose to leave didn't look tired at all.
Most were going off with a level of energy that seemed disturbing to me. To
be dancing like that is expected a few, or even many hours into the night,
but after 18 hours it suggests something more sinister, a hint of
desperation, an unwillingness to end the revelry, it seemed relentless.

Arq is like a modern fairy ring. During the night it is possible to stumble
into it & be transported to a different world. It is a world characterised
by music & lights & dancing & populated with the most beautiful, smiling
creatures wearing fantastic apparel. But it is a dangerous place for mortals
to enter for it is also timelss, without connection to the real world. I
parked my car where it could get booked once Monday rolled around for the
rest of the world. But after the time for me to rescue my vehicle from this
fate passed & with no work obligations to attend to, I lost any reason to
leave at all. Time had become utterly irrlevant & one's attendance was
dictated by the half life of ecstasy rather than the hands of the clock. One
easily loses days & months once the taste for gay abandon has been acquired
& the native creatures are of no help as they seem to be accustomed &
untroubled by the unending revelry. Excess does not exist in Arq because Arq
knows nothing of moderation. Arq IS excess, it neither recognises nor allows
anything else.

In the words of Dale from Denver (who was staying at arq until he had to
leave to catch his flight home),"Sydney is a great place to party, not
because there are more or better venues, but becuause you people just don't
know when to stop!"

--Madam G

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