Only a month before it lights up our historic Fitzroy street, the Gertrude Street Projection Festival is proud to announce its 2019 programme today: bigger and more beautiful than ever with hovering spirits, human canvases and VR experiences. Kicking things off on Friday July 26 from 6pm will be the free, all ages Opening Night Party at Foresters Hall, featuring a krumping session with Melbourne’s Zero Sessions, a VJ performance by Pixel Angel and a light art installation by Rachel Jessie-Rae.
Throughout the much-loved festival 22 streetscape projections will switch on, showcasing a mixture of new and established digital artists. Boundary-pushing Melbourne creatives Atong Atem and Salote Tawele will present pieces alongside Sydney-based Papua New Guinean artist Taloi Havini, who will bring her acclaimed work Habitat to GSPF.
The long-evolving video installation draws on research from the archives, rituals and contested sites from Australia’s colonial legacies in Bougainville during Papua New Guinea’s independence period. This year alone Havini’s work has appeared in exhibitions in Vancouver, Sydney, the Honolulu Biennale, Paris, the 9th Asia Pacific Triennial, ANU’s School of Art & Design Gallery, Warsaw and Norway.
A passionate advocate for projection art and winner of the Judges Choice Award at GSPF 2017, Melbourne artist Yandell Walton has collaborated with Signal to create Voice – a public artwork which empowers young people to speak up in solidarity against climate change.
A hovering spirit person, a collection of bones, tree branches and a shell – Sway by artist, muralist, community art facilitator and printmaker Tom Civil depicts a personal resonance about life, birth and death. The piece has been commissioned by the Australian Print Workshop. In Women Who Buck, Shuttermain has collaborated with the Melbourne Zero Sessions to challenge the status quo of Krump, resisting conventions about femininity and disrupting social norms regarding the female body and how it can be used in dance. Gertrude St Keepsakery by Susannah Langley & Warren Armstrong is a virtual reality Wunderkammer that visitors can walk through, touching objects and hearing their stories.
ArtLife’s Spun is the fairytale transformation from an imperfect reality to a dreamscape, inter-spliced with the unfounded, nightmarish fears of what could go wrong, and Tutu Collective’s Taco Eggplant Peach uses emoji texts sourced from online and personal transcripts to examine the idea of how communication is subverted.
But the festival will not just be projected onto inanimate objects: in Disruption, Melbourne skate crew Skate Odyssey becomes the canvas – a disparate and transformative screen on wheels. Gliding past and interacting with the projections, Skate Odyssey draw inspiration from the disruption caused by social movements through lawful protests and acts of civil disobedience.
Other artists to light up the Gertrude Street Project Festival’s 12th celebratory year include Jenna Erikson, Holly Cuthbertson, Linda Loh, Eric Hynynen, Sal Cooper,T-Dog eXtreme, Nina Maskiell & Mishka Beckmann, Proximity Collective, Matt Daly, Yusi Zang, Caroline McGrath, Chris Parkinson & Brody Xarhakos, Daniel Roberts and Jutta Pryor.
Gertrude Street Projection Festival will close in style with a jumping block party: Perspective on Saturday August 3, 5-10pm will reverberate with the creative and communal pulse of Atherton Gardens Housing Estate, showcasing a culturally diverse range of talented young people. The evening will feature five projections and five hours of performances including rappers Ror, AKB and Girl Zone, reggae band Jah Tung and the Natural Order, a fashion parade, dance crews and DJs.
Image: GSPF 2016: Susan Maco Forrester, Jacob Tolo & Luzena Adams, photo by Bernie Phelan
Gertrude Street Projection Festival
July 26-August 3, 6pm-midnight