Camera, large performance prop, polystyrene foam/plastic/fabric, designed by Ross Wallace, made by Mark Rhodes, Tamara Ealey Ceremonies Workshop, used in 'Parade of Icons' Elle McPherson float Sydney 2000 Olympic Games Closing Ceremony, Sydney, 2000
This oversized 'camera' prop has significance in material culture due to its role in the 'Parade of Icons' segment of the closing ceremony of the 2000 Olympic Games, an important event in the recent history of Sydney and NSW. It has the potential to communicate in exhibitions and publications about the Sydney Olympic Games and has significance in its design, making, use and the cultural meanings ascribed to it. set about creating a party to end all parties. We have decided to invite everyone into our giant Australian backyard - fully equipped with Hills Hoists, barbecues, an eclectic mix of music, performers and all manner of Australiana. Australians have a tradition of throwing great parties, and this one will be imbued with a sense of fun, larrikinism and goodwill.' According to Ric Birch (speaking on Channel 7's 'Olympic Sunrise'), the opening ceremony was to represent Australia at large, but the closing ceremony was Sydney's show.
The closing ceremony of the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games took place on Sunday 1 October at Stadium Australia, Homebush Bay. It included solemn formalities, an informal parade of athletes and a farewell party that took the form of an unregimented parade with floats that celebrated and often mocked aspects of Australian popular culture. The intention was to conduct the ceremony with decorum until the extinction of the Olympic flame, and then to unleash a party. The artistic director of the closing ceremony David Atkins explained 'The athletes have finished competition, and are ready to party, and we have set about creating a party to end all parties. We have decided to invite everyone into our giant Australian backyard - fully equipped with Hills Hoists, barbecues, an eclectic mix of music, performers and all manner of Australiana. Australians have a tradition of throwing great parties, and this one will be imbued with a sense of fun, larrikinism and goodwill.' According to Ric Birch (speaking on Channel 7's 'Olympic Sunrise'), the opening ceremony was to represent Australia at large, but the closing ceremony was Sydney's show.
Irreverent humour was evident from the opening (untelevised) sequence, in which the sports satirists Roy Slaven and HG Nelson welcomed the crowd and coached them in how to use the contents of the small eskies that each of the 110,000 audience members could find on their seats. These contained essential Australian backyard barbecue equipment including fly-swats which, when held aloft, gave a distinctively Australian flavour to the Mexican wave.
The fashion model Elle Macpherson was one of the 'Parade of Icons' which also included Greg Norman, Paul Hogan, Priscilla Queen of the Desert and Bananas in Pyjamas. Macpherson entered the arena aboard a large float in the form of a camera, flanked by 20 female models and 12 photographers. As if aroused by Macpherson's charms, the camera float's telescopic lens extended to form a catwalk.
The wit and quality of the 'Parade of Icons' showed the influence of the late Peter Tully as artistic director of the Mardi Gras in, for example, the 'pit chicks' in silver hot pants who carried the eyelashes, stiletto shoes and giant mascara for the Priscilla bus.
For the Finale this congregation of 'icons' was joined on the field by all the stars of the closing ceremony, as Men at Work performed 'Down Under'. This was followed promptly by country music legend Slim Dusty's rendition of 'Waltzing Matilda'.
The opening ceremony told a mythic story of nation-building that dwarfed individuals. It was evocative and subtle. The closing ceremony, however, celebrated personality, celebrity and attitude. Loud and brash, more like a rock concert than a profoundly theatrical event, it was an extravagant send-off -- fun, festive, shamelessly excessive and decidedly weird.
Ross Wallace, Sydney NSW, 2000
Ceremonies prop maker Mark Rhodes, Tama Ealey at the ceremonies workshop, Eveleigh, Redfern NSW, 2000. The body of the camera is made of polystyrene foam covered in a silver fabric. The face of the lens is covered with a vacuum-formed silver plastic. The flash unit has an internal light connected to a 12 volt battery, worn by one of two handlers.
Sydney 2000 Olympic Games closing ceremony 'Parade of Icons' segment, Elle Macpherson float, Stadium Australia, Sydney Olympic Park, Homebush Bay, 1 October 2000. The supermodel Elle Macpherson arrived for this parade aboard a large camera with a telescopic lens, flanked by 20 female 'models' and 12 'photographers'. This is one of the oversized cameras that accompanied the Elle Macpherson float. It was carried by two 'photographers' or handlers. The flash mechanism lit up intermittently.
Made for and owned by the Sydney Organising Committee for the Olympic Games, and donated to the Powerhouse Museum after the Games.