Detail image by Clare McCracken, as part of
If you live in Melbourne, don't be alarmed if you notice more people than usual acting weird in public from this Saturday onwards. They may be lost in the throes of work being executed as part of Next Wave Festival
, a nine-day event throughout the city showcasing risky, disruptive and ambitious ideas from young and emerging artists around the country.
As the name suggests, Next Wave is focused on highlighting the next generation of Australian arts practitioners. This year's festival, which runs from 19-27 May, presents 50 works from a group that represents some of our best creative minds. There's some stuff in there that looks weird, good, good and weird, and some other stuff that skews slightly towards bad weird, which may even make it more interesting. As Next Wave's website suggests
, "Please don’t come looking for answers about contemporary art. It’s time for questions, more questions."
We've gone through the entire program and picked out ten items that look quite excellent, but also go and view the entire thing here
so you can make a little itinerary for yourself.
Wake Up: Way Out
12pm-late, 19-27 May (Wednesday 23 May 7pm-12am WAKE UP Party),
Westspace, Level 1/225 Bourke Street, Melbourne
If we're interpreting this correctly, this is a series of dance parties that claim to examine "contemporary modes of divine experience." (Pretty good justification to have eight parties in a row.) DJs will be on hand to assist with your own personal hedonistic explorations from 9.30pm onwards each night.
10am-4pm, 20-25 and 27 May
Paradise Nails, 230 Swan Street, Richmond
Admission: Show and manicure $30, show and pedicure $45
This audio theatre work about Vietnamese-run nail salons in Australia is appropriately presented inside a nail salon. You will enjoy the satisfaction of participating in a cultural activity and will walk away with shiny new nails to pair with your newly achieved artistic enrichment.
4pm (please arrive by 3.45pm), 19, 20, 26, 27 May
St Peters Eastern Hill, 15 Gisbourne Street, East Melbourne
Admission: $30 Full, $25 Conc
Someone's having a wedding, and they need some help to make it 'beautiful'. Also, they quoted Foreigner's 'I Want to Know What Love is' (see below) in the project description, which basically means that you should RSVP now.
24 hrs a day, 19-27 May
Conder Plaza, New Quay Promenade, Docklands
Artist Joseph L. Griffiths has created an installation in Docklands comprised entirely of natural and recycled materials found on-site. He tries to create beauty in what is described as a "failed metropolis... in this notorious landmark of Australia’s cultural cringe."
Shamanic Organic Contemporary Cuisine
Exhibition: 7pm-10pm (except May 21 and 24 6pm-10pm), 19-27 May
Performance: 6pm, 19, 20, 22, 23, 25, 26, 27 May
Arts House, North Melbourne Town Hall
The promo shot for this exhibition/performance by the aptly named Hungerford brothers features a raw chicken covered in fluoro green slime (aka "energy juice"). We're not sure if this is riffing off the increasing popularity of the vegan/new age well-being movement, but Shamanic Organic Contemporary Cuisine
promises to supply "unique recipes specially designed to fill that hole… for LIFE!"
Monday-Saturday 10am-10pm, Sunday 11am-10pm, 19-27 May (opening Sunday, 20 May, 2pm-6pm)
Mission to Seafarers Melbourne, 717 Flinders Street, Docklands
For this exhibition, artists Laura Delaney and Danae Valenza teamed up with Mission to Seafarers, an organisation that provides a temporary home to an odd 60,000 seafarers that pass through Melbourne's ports each year. People are invited inside the home Mission to Seafarers provides, with visual and sound-based works located throughout the building. N.B.: The opening event promises rum for all.
Check here for times, 22-27 May
Melbourne Museum, 11 Nicholson St, Carlton
Billed as a "retro sci-fi audio tour," participants are invited to learn about the story of "Australia's first computer." We suspect that something creepy might happen on the tour, as the summoning of ghosts is mentioned in the project description.
Check here for times, 23-27 May
City Library, 253 Flinders Lane, Melbourne
Performance artist Sarah-Jane Norman will spend five days holed up in a room of the Melbourne City Library, carving a complete dictionary of 'extinct' Indigenous Australian languages onto an assortment of sheep and cattle bones. On the last day, the bones will be given away to the public and a public record will be created detailing the whereabouts of each one.
Living With Living
11am-5pm, 23-26 May; 1-5pm, 27 May-9 June (Tuesday-Saturday)
Sutton Gallery Project Space, 230 Young Street, Fitzroy
Artist George Egerton-Warburton has based his latest solo exhibition on the premise of a student who got social culture mixed up with bacterial culture, and found himself as a dairy farmer who makes Greek yoghurt, rather than a disciple of Greek philosophy. It's a strange story, but one that focuses on incongruous elements and includes a drop saw mounted on a wall, having cut mee goreng packets in half and left them strewn in a tub of bitumen on the floor.
7pm (except Friday 25 May 6pm), 19-23 May, 25-27 May
Arts House, Meat Market, 5 Blackwood St, North Melbourne
Admission: $20 Full, $16 Conc
Choreographer Aimee Smith's newest work features two dancers and electronic producer Kane Ikin, who perform against the sounds Smith collected during a trip to Antarctica. Watch the video below as a taster: