The Melbourne International Arts Festival kicked off with a bang yesterday. Only two days in, we’ve already ticked off several items off our “things to see” list. Here’s a quick report on them. More detailed reviews to come (when we get around to it)!
On Thursday night we were fortunate enough to attend the Visual Arts launch party for the festival held at ACCA. Must I say, the finger food there was amazing! They were very simple canapes, but oh so delicious. The foyer was packed with several recognisable faces; people who we see regularly at the other openings that we attend, staff from the NGV, etc. The launch party was also a sneak preview of the current exhibition on at ACCA called Mortality, that’s also part of the festival. One word. Amazing. And I haven’t even made it past the first corner of the gallery! Apparently it takes 3 hours to view the exhibition in its entirety, and as we went into the exhibition quite late that night it was not too long after when we were told ACCA was closing. Still, from what I have seen so far it has already blown me away. Will definitely head back to spend a decent 3 hours and report back on here! I wouldn’t know where to begin writing about it though. There is just so much!
Prior to ACCA we were at the opening for The Solo Projects at the Margaret Lawrence Gallery at the VCA. Melbourne-based artists Jensen Tjhung and Sean Loughrey have taken over the gallery, creating incredible environments that you would have never imagined to find yourself in a gallery. Stand next to a large monolithic sculpture in the centre of a dark, cold cave? Stand at the kitchen sink of a beach house looking out into the ocean? You better believe it. We have photos and will be posting a review shortly.
Last night, after checking out Dy dykrenore (Sophia Hewson, Mia Salsjo) at Lindberg, we headed over to Gertrude Contemporary for the opening of Dying in spite of the miraculous. Completely video based, we spent a lot of time there watching every one of them. The highlight – Saskia Olde Wolbers’ DVD projection Placebo. I have seen this video somewhere before but I can’t remember where. Could have been either at the MCA in Sydney or SFMOMA in San Francisco. In 2002 it was exhibited at Tate Britain. I cannot stress how incredible this work is. I could watch it a million times over, each time my heart breaking. Please, please go check it out!
Tonight we went to see come, been and gone, Michael Clark’s critically acclaimed contemporary ballet to the music of David Bowie, Brian Eno, the Velvet Underground and Kraftwerk. JUST AMAZING. Words cannot describe. Being a massive David Bowie and VU fan, I am just so chuffed to see contemporary ballet being choreographed to their music. To hear their music playing through the sound system of our beloved State Theatre and to see some of the world’s best dancers bring it to life was just unbelievable. Being such a huge fan of these musicians, I wouldn’t think there would be any way that I could appreciate their music even more. Was I proven wrong! The choreography was absolute genius and it made me feel like I was listening to these songs, songs that I have known and loved for so many years, for the very first time.
Watch this space for more in-depth reviews and further reports from the Melbourne Festival!
For a list of our recommended events and exhibitions at the festival, see our earlier post here!