Introducing Public Art Melbourne Biennial Lab

The City of Melbourne announces participating artists in the inaugural Public Art Melbourne Biennial Lab: What happens now? The title is derived from an anonymous paste-up program throughout New York City in 1979 by American artist Jenny Holzer. Like a manifesto, Holzer’s slogans are part of her acerbic “Inflammatory Essays.” While anchoring the curatorial framework, this proposition offers an open-ended inquiry and the prospect of imagining new possibilities.

Ten proposals have been accepted from more than 150 applications by early mid-career artists from across Australia. Artists participating in the lab include: Hiromi Tango, whose experiments in materials frequently involve community engagement; Will Foster from A Centre for Everything, which explores ideas via participatory gestures; Willurai Kirkbright, whose lab research will focus on a site-responsive installation to the complex history of Queen Victoria Market; and Timothy Moore of SIBLING, a multidisciplinary design group working at the intersection of architecture, urbanism, cultural analysis and graphic communication to produce unexpected spatial outcomes.

The Lab will include guided walks and conversations about the area by Aboriginal representatives; an in situ performance workshop by a choreographer; work with an acoustic ecologist; language and expressions across different media that might consider literary references to Queen Victoria Market. These research activities complement a range of core modalities that resonate within the market context, such as time/duration, exchange/trade, materialities, narrative and relationships/dialogues.

Full list of selected artists: Hiromi Tango, Jessie Bullivant, Kiron Robinson, Steven Rhall, Willurai Kirkbright, Sanné Mestrom and Jamie Hall from The Mechanic’s Institute, Isobel Knowles and Van Sowerwine, Jason Maling and Martyn Coutts from Field Theory, Will Foster from A Centre for Everything and Timothy Moore from SIBLING

For the inaugural Biennial Lab, Public Art Melbourne will provide development and production support for the realisation of temporary public artworks, including:

  • financial and travel support for a two-week lab / residency in Melbourne in June 2016
  • creative critical engagement with renowned local and international curators and practitioners currently working in the field of art in the public domain
  • financial and production support for the development and delivery of new work to be presented in October 2016 as part of Melbourne Festival

Curators: Natalie King (Chief Curator), David Cross (artist, curator, Head of Art and Performance, Deakin University), Jefa Greenaway (architect, Director, Greenaway Architects and Indigenous Architecture and Design Victoria), Veronica Kent (artist, The Telepathy Project), Djon Mundine OAM (curator, activist and writer), Fiona Whitworth (QVM), Lynda Roberts (City of Melbourne)

International Affiliates: Claire Doherty MBE (Director, Situations), Khairuddin Hori (artist and former Deputy Director of Artistic Programming, Palais de Tokyo, Paris), Hou Hanru (Director, MAXXI, Rome)