Thursday, May 15, 2008

Membrane, Next Wave Festival, 15 - 31 May 2008

In collaboration with design firm Buro North and artist Mark Rodda, Utopian Slumps presents True Game Systems at Federation Square.

Membrane, a keynote exhibition in the 2008 Next Wave Festival, introduces a complex new layer to the landscape of Melbourne's Federation Square: the exhibition presents 14 contemporary artworks by emerging artists that respond specifically to its architecture, history, culture and environment. Membrane wraps around the monolithic architecture of Federation Square, opening up new insights into its otherwise invisible, imaginary, intermediary, ignored, forgotten and overlooked spaces. Darkly humorous and melancholic in tone, the works in the exhibition chart a narrative of power, control and officialdom, questioning the role of public art and artistic practice in the creation and management of civic space.

Next Wave Festival program

Thursday, March 20, 2008

The Age 20 March 2008


Melissa Loughnan directs the non-profit, curator-run Utopian Slumps in Collingwood - a gallery renowned for its hip openings. She says: "Launches are important because I'm only open two days a week and evenings are a doable time for more people. I want them to come in and buy the beer; that's part of it. And you need to have these attendance figures when you're going for grants. Mainly though, a busy launch is encouraging for the artist."

But, do people look at the art? "I worry sometimes that I'm getting a hipster crowd," says Loughnan. "We had the Snawklor performance here as part of Nathan Gray's show recently and it felt like some people were more interested in being seen than listening to the music. I don't turn away an audience though. If people are hanging out in the alley talking to their friends, I say 'Why don't you come inside and have a look at the work?' I think it's important for them to understand why they're there."

Full article here