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Art After Dark

This two-night after-hours arts celebration sees Melbourne's leading cultural institutions come alive with a program of music, installations, food, workshops, pop-up bars and gallery access.
By Sarah Ward
May 09, 2022
By Sarah Ward
May 09, 2022

Melbourne has scored a new art event inspired by Europe's Night of Museums: an annual evening when leading cultural institutions stay open long after they'd normally shut their doors, welcoming in patrons for after-dark art activities. Here, it'll take the form of Art After Dark, a two-day late-night extravaganza, involving State Library Victoria, the NGV, Federation Square, Arts Centre Melbourne, ACMI and Melbourne Museum.

Running from 6pm–1am on both Friday, May 13 and Saturday, May 14, Art After Dark will feature limited-time-only experiences — both free and ticketed — spanning live music, visual and performing arts, and food and drink. The aim is to get both locals and visitors to the city to play tourist at Melbourne's cultural venues.

At State Library Victoria, 360-degree immersive projection Midnight at Pink Lake will light up the La Trobe Reading Room, paired with a themed program featuring mindful workshops, music, roving performers, giant chess, and food and drinks.

At NGV Australia, Ron Mueck's Mass from the 2017 Triennial will return, accompanied by pop-up poetry readings, choirs and DJs. And, at NGV International, light projections will transform its bluestone exterior thanks to QUEER: Stories from the NGV Collection. Also on the bill: Hannah Brontë's video installation EYE HEAR U MAGIK 2020, as well as free after-hours access to the whole venue.

Meanwhile, BRIGGS is headlining Fed Square Live, with Kee'ahn, Soju Gang and Izy in support. That's also where you'll be able to catch Aussie-first installation Constellations — which sees artist Joanie Lemercier's monochrome, vector-based aesthetics paired with an electronic soundscape by producer Paul Jebanasam. The precinct is also doing free takeaway hot chocolates, coffees, s'mores and glow-in-the-dark fairy floss.

Arts Centre Melbourne is hosting live performances, DJs and food trucks, with the Australian Music Vault set to stay open late.

At ACMI, catch drop-in showings of Soda Jerk's phenomenal Terror Nullius, plus free Oskar Fischinger exhibition Raumlichtkunst and a showcase of Aussie game developers done in collaboration with Collingwood's Bar SK.

Melbourne Museum is letting folks see its triceratops after dark, as well as screening projections, hosting food trucks, setting up pop-up bars and spinning DJ tunes. And next door at IMAX, you'll be able to dive into the Marvel Cinematic Universe with late sessions of Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness.

Triceratops at Melbourne Museum. Photo by Eugene Hyland

Top image: Performers sing with Mass by Ron Mueck, 2017 on display at NGV Triennial 2017 at NGV International, Melbourne. Photo: Eugene Hyland.

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