Art-loving Melburnian vampires are in luck; Nite Art strikes again, with galleries open late across town tonight
BY SOPHIE DAVIES
Fancy getting a Melbourne art fix? Now in its third year, Nite Art sees 30 art sites open late across three central precincts from 6pm tonight (Thursday 23 July). With more than 75 artists on display, it encourages fans to wander the city, checking out photography, painting, drawing, installations, sculpture, printmaking, and digital and light works, plus art happenings, talks and walks. DesignFizz can vouch for the fun factor, having cycled around 21 studios, museums and galleries on Nite Art’s debut event, stopping to quaff beers along the way. Who said art was intimidating?
To map out your Nite download a map, which details the three core precincts – City Central, Arts Precinct – Federation Square and the atmospheric University of Melbourne, plus some Open House Melbourne spaces. See our FizzPicks below or follow Nite Art’s suggested routes Mix it Up 1, Mix It Up 2 and Nite Seekers.
Boasting 16 spaces, City Central precinct is a great place to start, including galleries in the historic, multi-level Nicholas Building (37 Swanston Street) and along popular eat-street Flinders Lane (look out for the projection wall by Roy Chu outside Chin Chin). Snoop around Blender Studios (110 Franklin Street), then see Dark Horse Experiment’s curated group show in the main space, including Adrian Doyle’s paintings riffing on suburban Australia. Next up, head to nearby Screen Space (ground floor, 30 Guildford Lane), where Amie Siegel and Victor Burgin’s exhibitions explore the connections between modernist architecture and new media technology. Fans of interiors should also make for the White Library, a small sculpture by Ruth Johnstone at the Athenaeum Library (188 Collins Street) inserting blank tablets among the shelves, a reflection of the compression of information in the digital age.
Arts Precinct – Federation Square
Online pre-bookings for Melinda Hetzel’s site-specific performance Fly By Night, journeying through the secret passageways of Hamer Hall (100 St Kilda Road), have been snapped up but walk-ups will be permitted where possible. It’s a participatory promenade involving dance theatre, music and digital technology. The central Arts Precinct – Federation Square zone also takes in two shows at ACMI (Federation Square), including inspiring new exhibition David Bowie is (on until 1 November 2015), which shares the influential videos, films, album artwork, stage designs and costumes of the genderbending UK music star.
ABOVE: Julia Weissenberg’s Nothing to Retain (video still), Total House
ABOVE RIGHT: Nite Art's laser-eyed poster by Work Art Life Studios
ABOVE FROM TOP: Adrian Doyle’s Never Forget to Remember painting at Dark Horse Experiment; Late-night hub The Ian Potter Museum of Art
The University of Melbourne
The seven spaces around the University of Melbourne offer individual exhibitions and group shows such as Light Speculation at The Carlton Connect Initiative LAB–14 (700 Swanston Street, Carlton), which looks at light as a wondrous phenomenon. It includes Erica Seccombe’s GROW, a projection of mung beans and alfalfa germinating in 4D, which resemble alien life forms. The zone also hosts several shows involving Liquid Architecture, featuring sound installation and video, at the Melbourne School of Design (Masson Road), allowing access to its Japanese Room, designed by architect Shigeru Yura.
Open House Melbourne
Tying in with Open House Melbourne, which throws open the doors to intriguing spaces around town this weekend (25 and 26 July), a clutch of Open House Melbourne x Nite Art sites form part of tonight’s offerings. Julia Weissenberg’s Nothing to Retain is a two-channel video exploring a temporary reconstruction of a Mies van der Rohe-designed building that was never built. It’s being screened at Total House (aka TV House, 170-190 Russell Street), a hybrid car park/office/night club building which is one of Melbourne’s best examples of Japanese-inspired Brutalist architecture. Added to the Victorian Heritage Register in 2014 and home to various design studios, it’s still the subject of debates about its preservation or redevelopment. The Default Collective’s site-specific video here focusses on the entrance lift. Booking essential.
Wrap up at the event’s late-night hub at The Ian Potter Museum of Art (801 Swanston Street, Carlton), where you can enjoy a drink from 10pm until midnight. Julie Rrap’s video will be projected onto the building's wall and Melbourne band The Orbweavers will play around 10.15pm (just hashtag those dance moves #niteart15!). Alternatively, late-opening Art Bars around town include GoGo Bar (125 Flinders Lane) under Chin Chin, Bar Americano (20 Presgrave Place) and Hell’s Kitchen (20a Centre Place). Culture and cocktails go together like a Swanston Street horse and carriage!
Nite Art is on from 6pm until late tonight, Thursday 23 July 2015, in Melbourne