[csaa-forum] Bohemian Melbourne Exhibition, State Library Victoria, Dec 12- Feb 22

Mark Gibson mark.gibson at monash.edu
Tue Dec 2 14:58:58 ACST 2014

*[image: Inline images 3][image: Inline images 2]*

*SLV Bohemian Melbourne Exhibition*

*Title: Hipster or Bohemian? Melbourne’s counter-cultural history showcased
at SLV*

*State Library Victoria will showcase Melbourne’s vibrant bohemian history
with an exhibition, performances, public lectures and walking tours this
summer. A unique chance to learn about Melbourne’s counter-culture
characters, and their contribution to the city’s arts, music and literary

Melbourne’s rich history of counter-cultures will be captured in a new
exhibition, with the help of Monash cultural historian and media scholar Dr
Tony Moore, who was academic advisor.

State Library Victoria’s (SLV) Keith Murdoch Gallery will host a new
exhibition, Bohemian Melbourne, from 12 December to February 22.

Inspired by Dr Moore’s 2012 book *Dancing with Empty Pockets: Australia’s
Bohemians Since 1860*, the exhibition will showcase Melbourne’s many
subversive artists, poets, performers and musicians, including Marcus
Clarke, the Lindsays, the Angry penguins group, Barry Humphries, Vali Myers
and Nick Cave. The exhibition will include paintings, photographs, costumes
as well as rarely seen film and videos sources from the National Film and
Sound Archive, the ABC and other independent filmmakers.

The exhibition and public events involve significant research and cultural
collaboration between Monash and State Library Victoria, drawing on Dr
Moore’s work which highlighted and analysed the cultural contribution of
the myriad characters that feature in his book and what their subversive
presences means for Melbourne more generally.

*“Melbourne has a bohemian counter-tradition, reinvented and re-imagined by
successive generations and movements spanning the mid-19th century to the
present day but linked by strong continuities. For more than a century and
a half Melbourne has spawned networks of creative iconoclasts – poets,
painters, novelists, performers, satirists, filmmakers, rock ’n’ roll stars
– as famous for their subversive, controversial lifestyles as for the work
they produced.” – Tony Moore*

Tony is Lead CI on the bohemia-related ARC Discovery  Fringe to Famous,
based in the School of Media, Film and Journalism at Monash University.

Senior curator Clare Williamson said the exhibition showcases Melbourne’s
history as a home for bohemians and counter-cultural movements that bridges
generational divides. “Every generation feels nostalgic about its own
unique bohemian legacy, but this exhibition shows how the spirit of
bohemianism has endured through 150 years of Melbourne’s history,” she said.

Williamson and Moore worked together to find themes that tie different
generations of bohemians together, including  representations of the city
in media and art; the global circulation of bohemian and avant-garde
identities; the recurrence of the gothic and the carivalesque,; he youthful
exodus of Australians to Europe to discover artistic scenes,; and  forming
iconoclastic collectives to create similar cultural pockets in Melbourne,
from Clarke’s Yorick Club and the Angry Penguins group to the Carlton scene
and punks.

The exhibition will also include a variety of public events including panel
talks, a cabaret performance, a film festival called ‘Screening Bohemia’
and a series of Bohemian Melbourne walking tours ( conducted Monash’s
Moore, Assoc Prof. John Arnold, and Richard  Overell ) all open to the

The exhibition leaves room to consider the role today’s bohemians, from
street artists and burlesque performers to ‘hipsters’ promenading in
colonial-style beards, can play in Melbourne’s cultural scene. The
inclusion of photographer Luke David Kellett’s work from his 2011 series, *This
City Speaks to Me: a portrait of Melbourne’s underground*, certainly begins
this conversation. Regardless, this exhibition will be a great time to
reflect on Melbourne’s rich counter-cultural history, and its future as a
cultural hub that attracts artists, creatives and visionaries.

Read the Time Out Melbourne and Qantas Magazine write up on this


Visit the State Library Victoria website for more information on the
exhibition or related events:

And Walking Tours:


Images: Marcus Clarke at 20 c 1866, State Library Victoria
Norman Ikin, Vali Myers, C. 1949, State Library Victoria
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