Rewind: Out and About: ACCA At Large, Part 2

Jane Rhodes

Nick Mangan, Untitled, 2010. The Big Wall Project. Courtesy the artist and ACCA Archive

The Big Wall Project, Things that Go Bump In the Night, and other artists

The Big Wall Project was an off site commission curated by the Australian Centre for Contemporary Art for the Crown Metropol Hotel, and ran from August 2010 to July 2012.

Spanning long and high The Big Wall Project was one of the largest locations for viewing contemporary public art in Melbourne at over 18 metres long and nearly 6 metres high. Geelong born and Melbourne based Nick Mangan created a huge collage of images on a giant swath of cloth. The wall was rendered into an immersive landscape mural of giant hands in colour tones of majestic purple, fleshy pinks and shades of grey.


Nathan Coley, Heaven Is A Place Where Nothing Ever Happens, installation view, ACCA, 2010. Courtesy ACCA Archive

Nathan Coley: Heaven is a Place Where Nothing Ever Happens

Scottish artist and Turner prize nominee, Nathan Coley erected his famous message sculpture Heaven Is A Place Where Nothing Ever Happens on the ACCA Forecourt in 2010.

The work consisted of 480 light globes mounted as letters on an aluminum frame. The origin of this eponymous text was a Talking Heads pop song, but this may not be well known by all passers-by. In this sense Coley wanted to question the viewers’ contemplation of the work. He said that ‘its strength is its ambiguity – is heaven a place where nothing ever happens? For some it’s a comforting message that this promise of the afterlife is without incident. Others may wonder if heaven is the place they were told it would be”.

Things that Go Bump In the Night: Laresa Kosloff, Sonia Leber and David Chesworth

Things that Go Bump In the Night consisted of two artist projects curated by ACCA for the City Square to support the City of Melbourne’s Late Night Programming initiative — to encourage discovery and delight in those who passed through this public domain at all times during the day and night.

Sonia Leber and David Chesworth’s We, The Masters captured the inventive and at times hilarious things we say to our pets. The artists used raw material from everyday life — parks, veterinary practices, animal training schools, farms and zoos — to capture the highly personal way people talk to their animals. We, The Masters captured the various tones, melodies and patterns of speech used by owners when communicating with their pets, often formed through repetition and habit.  With the sounds of the animals edited out, the voices, which came from discretely placed speakers placed high in the existing street trees, appeared to be calling out directly, and commanding, cajoling and encouraging, the passerby.

Laresa Kosloff, Office Skate, captured people undertaking work and leisure activities within the built environment. Kosloff’s Super 8 footage of controlled office environments were digitally montaged with freer activities such as ice-skating and ‘Parkour’, and were projected onto the walls of the City Square to blur the barriers between recreation and bureaucracy.

Torsten Lauschmann: At the heart of everything a row of holes

Jacqueline Donachie, Melbourne Slow Down (2013). Courtesy the artist. Photograph: Jen Moore

At the heart of everything a row of holes was a one-night-only special event of two performances to coincide with the Melbourne Art Fair in 2012. The National Theatre, in Carlisle Street St Kilda, was the venue for this video meets cabaret and vaudeville event. It was invented by Glasgow based, German artist Torsten Lauschmann who used every surface of the theatre in this surround-sound spectacle.  Lauschmann drew the audience into an immersive, strange world of visual and sound effects that created a spellbinding atmosphere.

Desire Lines Performance events: Dan Shipsides, Mel O’Callaghan and Jacqueline Donachie

ACCA’s 2012-2013 summer exhibition Desire Lines referred to the wayward, improvised tracks created by walkers and others who defy the ways urban regulators and councils design routes for them.

British artist, Dan Shipsides, created one of his renowned climbing based artworks on the exterior of the ACCA building. By mapping his path with white rope adhered to ACCA with magnets, Shipsides created a unique and ephemeral line drawing.

Sydney born and Paris based artist, Mel O’Callaghan, created a moving sculpture of rocks on ACCA’s forecourt. Inspired by Richard Long’s environmental object formations, O’Callaghan’s performance involved a dedicated team of performers moving a rock wall, stone by stone across the forecourt of ACCA — a sculpture in motion.

Scottish artist, Jacqueline Donachie and her bike riding teams created colourful chalk line drawings from the edges of the city to ACCA. This special event — the coda to Desire Lines — was a happening devised by Donachie and 100 keen ACCA volunteers.

ACCA at Large, Part 1