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9° & PARTLY CLOUDY ON WEDNESDAY 15 AUGUST IN MELBOURNE
ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT

Seven Things to See and Do at Melbourne Art Week 2018

Head to a dance party, follow a colourful travelling work and explore an art-filled hotel.
By Hudson Brown
August 03, 2018
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Seven Things to See and Do at Melbourne Art Week 2018

Head to a dance party, follow a colourful travelling work and explore an art-filled hotel.
By Hudson Brown
August 03, 2018
  shares

SEVEN THINGS TO SEE AND DO AT MELBOURNE ART WEEK 2018

Head to a dance party, follow a colourful travelling work and explore an art-filled hotel.

Pretty much every week is great for the arts in Melbourne, but the next seven days are something special with the official launch of Melbourne Art Week.

Running until Sunday August 5, the Melbourne Art Foundation has teamed up with 50 Victorian cultural organisations, arts institutions, galleries and art fairs to offer up an eclectic program of exhibitions, events, talks, performances and workshops.

There are highlights all over town, but the Melbourne Art Fair (August 2–5) is the headline event. Adding two new Southbank venues for the first time, the event sees Australian and international artists from 40 galleries represented throughout the sprawling event.

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    Across five days of enticing contemporary art and culture, the Melbourne Art Fair 2018 surveys 40 leading galleries and art institutions. Alongside enigmatic works by some of the finest names in the Australian, New Zealand and South East Asian art scenes, is an engaging supporting cast of talks, award shows, one-off commissions and curated project rooms to check out. Celebrating the Melbourne Art Fair’s 30th birthday, the event has expanded its horizons to two additional Southbank spaces. Alongside Australian Centre for Contemporary Art (ACCA) and The University of Melbourne Southbank campus, there is the temporary Vault Hall — a 2000-square-metre marquee located in the forecourt of ACCA — as well as the light-filled exhibition space of Riding Hall, aka Martyn Myer Arena.

    In addition to the massive arts program, prominent New Zealand born, Melbourne-based artist Ronnie van Hout will unveil a darkly humorous large-scale installation that’ll consider his lifelong interest in UFOs, and Japanese-born artist Hiromi Tango will present a performative piece, called Lizard Tail (Dawn), on the streets of the Southbank Arts Precinct throughout the festival.

    Image: Hiromi Tango, Lizard Dreams (Dawn)

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    Melbourne Art Week is on the way, and Chunky Move is kicking off things on the right foot, so to speak. Company dancer Niharika Senapati will run a Dance Class Party on Friday, August 3, combining sweat with tunes for some inner and outer good feels. Having appeared in Chunky Move works including Depth of Field, Rule of Thirds, ANTI-GRAVITY and Accumulation, Senapati will be putting her considerable talent into a dance party designed to warm you up for the weekend. Think you’ve got two left feet? Doesn’t matter — the Dance Class Party is all-inclusive, with everyone welcome to roll on up and enjoy the disco ball and smoke machine and live your teenage dance dreams. Plus, the ticket price of $15 includes a drink on arrival, a pre-cursor to a bangin’ Friday night for sure. The party will be held in the Chunky Move studios right behind Melbourne Art Fair’s 2000-square-metre pop-up marquee, Vault Hall.

    Images: Daniel Lidmila

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    Little has changed since the 2016 leak of the Nauru Files, which detail 2116 incident reports of assault, sexual and child abuse, self-harm and horrible living conditions suffered by asylum seekers on Nauru, one of Australia’s offshore refugee detention centres. With the centre continuing to operate regardless, 32 award-winning artists have teamed up to create All We Can’t See: Illustrating the Nauru Files, which will show at Fortyfivedownstairs Gallery from Tuesday, July 31 through Saturday, August 10.

    The exhibition illustrates the suffering of detainees through creative expression, with each artist having chosen a specific Nauru file to interpret. The exhibition’s renowned Australian artists include painter Ben Quilty, 2017 Bvlgari Art Award recipient Tomislav Nikolic, Tim Maguire, Sulman Prize winner Aida Tomescu, and multi-discipline artist Belinda Fox. Since the show first debuted in Sydney earlier this year, many more leading artists — including Julian Meagher, Khaled Sabsabi, and Stanislava Pinchuk — have joined. Members of the public, including school children, have also illustrated files, which can be viewed on the All We Can’t See website.

    Image: Janet Laurence

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    Following on from the wild success of The Other Fair‘s inaugural Melbourne edition in 2017, the acclaimed showcase returns with another lineup of emerging contemporary artists for you to discover and buy directly from. Featuring 100 artists selected by the festival’s committee of local curators and gallery directors, Melbourne’s The Other Art Fair 2018 runs from August 2–5 at Kensington’s The Facility. It features creative highlights abound, including Singaporean duo Ripple Root, which develops artworks by adding elements in turn — like a game of tag. Sydney’s Joel Tonks will exhibit his intricate flora and fauna paintings that reference the Australian identity, while Melbourne’s Jess Merlo will present her painting, sculpture and installation works that explore two and three dimensional perspectives.

    While perusing the extensive fair, the restored warehouse will come to life with several evocative site-specific works and unique performances. Ryoko Kose’s Just Keep Going sees the Japanese-born artist use hemp yarn to create a 3D work that’ll take over the Fair’s entrance, while arts collective Skunk Control incorporate light, sound and kinetic movement to lure the audience into a seemingly transparent and derelict space. Special guest artist Dina Broadhurst will also join the 100 emerging talents. Known for her photographic collages that consider femininity, sexuality and escapism, Broadhurst has produced an exclusive limited-edition poster, as well as 300 hand-signed and numbered works for purchase. Founded by leading Los Angeles-based online art gallery Saatchi Art, The Other Art Fair is now in six creative hubs around the world, including Brooklyn, London and Sydney.

    Image: Ryoko Kose, Just Keep Going

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    Contemporary art featured in galleries around the world will be on display at The Hotel Windsor this week, as part of the fifth annual Spring 1883. Returning to the iconic Spring Street venue in August, the free collaborative event is spread over the hotel’s four floors and is part the Melbourne Art Fair. Open to the public from noon until 7pm August 2 to 4, this year’s event will boast art from more than two dozen galleries. Head in after 8pm on Friday, August 3, and join the artist party, where there’ll be live music and a bar. Among the international contingent you’ll find work from Dutton gallery in New York and Wellington’s {Suit}, while local players include Sydney’s Roslyn Oxley9 and Alaska Projects, and Melbourne’s Murray White Room. The pieces on display promise to be similarly diverse, ranging from photography to ceramics to portraiture and more. In one room you may find In Bloom — Cecilia Fox’s floral-themed artwork and flower installation — and in another, an inflatable installation by Cindy Sherman.

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    As part of the Melbourne Art Fair program this August, TIME will take place in various locations across the city of Melbourne. A site-specific video installtion, TIME will showcase a variety of works from artists such as Michaela Gleave, Jess Johnson, Simon Ward, Sriwhana Spong and Angela Tiatia, in a female-heavy four days of art and culture. Curated — again by two cool women of the art world — by Hannah Matthews (Senior Curator at the Monash University Museum of Art) and Rachel Ciesla (Curator and Administrator of Galleries and Programs, Melbourne Art Foundation), TIME sees art pieces — all considering the idea of now — spread across Melbourne, sprawling from Buxton Contemporary to QT Melbourne. Video locations and times can be found here, as well as the full Melbourne Art Fair program.

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    Throughout history gold has been one of the earth’s most sought after materials. And for Melbourne Art Week 2018, Station Gallery teams up with Berlin-based Arndt Art Agency to showcase a free exploration of the precious metal with a group show of leading contemporary artists from Europe, Asia and Australia. Focusing on the materiality of gold, Au also considers its more esoteric connotations, including alchemy, the divine and some people’s extreme greed for wealth. Across existing and newly commissioned work by 15 Australian and international artists, audiences will get a chance to explore both the gluttonous, spiritual and practical concepts behind gold. Featuring works from leading international creatives such as Swiss installation artist Thomas Hirschhorn, German filmmaker Julian Rosefeldt and Indigenous Australian painter Danie Mellor, Au presents a range of interpretations of gold and its real-world applications and implications.

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