The City Speaks

Mon 7 Nov 2016–
Sun 20 Nov 2016

Melbourne CBD

The signA0 posters commissioned for the project and distributed widely across the city.
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The signifier: Text-based banners in three ground-floor windows in the CBD that borrow aesthetically from sporting and protest banners to question the relationship between humans and their surrounding environments.
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The performer: Jacqui Shelton’s performance work, News of the building of the wall uses Kafka’s short story of the same name as a starting point for an investigation into the intimate and physical ways in which we communicate. More an encounter than an artwork, the work can only be accessed through a one-on-one encounter with the artist and the willing engagement of the participant.
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The pedestrians: Walking tours of the city by artists and writers on weekends of 12/13 and 19/20 November, 3–4 pm
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The response: Melbourne-based writer Romy Ash will write a response to Jacqui Shelton’s performance News of the building of the wall to be published on the ACCA website.
Read it here »

Epilogue: Like lost children we live our unfinished adventures consists of an installation of eight neon sculptures that transcribes the title of the work in shorthand text. The movement and proximity of people passing by these sculptures will prompt a burst of light and sound – with each neon paired to a different instrument.
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The City Speaks brings art into the laneways, parks and public spaces of Melbourne’s city streets. Through performance, installation and spoken word, participating artists and writers evoke encounter, curiosity and provocation – probing a wide, and at times unsuspecting, audience to rethink the definition of art and consider how it might reflect, enrich, and even alter, urban space and society.

The City Speaks examines the enduring relationship between visual art and language, revealing a variety of ways in which the two come together to enliven and interrupt public space, and contribute to ideas about the city, urbanism and community. Art and text have long been entwined – from Cubist collage and the printed posters of de Stijl to the typographical experiments of the Dadaists and Surrealists, through Concrete Poetry and Conceptual practices of the 1960s, to contemporary painting, performance, video, installation, situationist, relational and digital art. On a daily basis, in our city streets, we are appealed to, and at times overwhelmed by, the integration of visual images and the written word, in advertising, branding, directional signage, street art… How then, might art and language combine in unexpected and myriad ways, to cut through the visual noise of urban space and encourage us to see our city through new eyes?

Principal Partner