The countdown to White Night Melbourne is on

Purple Rain_Martin ArgyrogloIn just under two weeks, streets, laneways, landmarks and cultural institutions spanning eight city blocks will burst into life overnight with 50 events and activities added to the White Night Melbourne programme.

White Night Melbourne is inspired by the international network of Nuit Blanche cities around the world with more than 100 free events and activities that make up the dusk-til-dawn line-up, transforming Melbourne’s streets into a thriving cultural playground.

The event, which runs from 7.00pm on Saturday 22 February to 7.00am on Saturday 23 February, is significantly expanded this year to include 11 precincts, ranging from the National Gallery of Victoria on St Kilda Road, to the State Library of Victoria, Melbourne City Baths and the Melbourne Museum. It stretches from Southbank Boulevard to Victoria Street and from Elizabeth Street to Russell Street.

Creative Director Andrew Walsh AM said the size and scope of the programme would provide something for everyone in the genres of music, fashion, film, design, art, sport and performance.

“Explore laneways by night, watch light displays in the sky, listen to music or get involved in a street performance,” Mr Walsh said.

“With more than 100 events across so many different genres, there really is something to suit every possible interest. Many events are designed to suit families and most are offered free-of-charge.”

Highlights added to the White Night Melbourne program include:

Curated by Anais Lellouche (former Centre Pompidou-Metz and Nuit Blanche Paris), Queen Victoria Gardens is transformed into an experience of nature sublimated by artistic imagination. An exceptional ensemble of international and Australian artists create innocuous creatures and atmospheres in a historic botanical park. Walk through immersive works across light, film, sculpture and music activating and transforming the vast natural environment. Artworks include:

Everything is going to be alright – Martin Creed (UK):
Born in England, Martin Creed has exhibited extensively worldwide with recent major solo exhibitions and projects at various institutions including The Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum, National Gallery of Canada and Museum of Contemporary Art, Centre Pompidou-Metz and Hiroshima City Museum of Contemporary Art and Tate Britain.

Büsi  – Fischli & Weiss (Switzerland):
The 2001 film presents a close-up of a cat, lapping milk out of a bowl. By disclosing the pet’s contempt, the artists invite viewers to remember what natural pleasures can provide.

Bomarzo, 2011 – Laurent Grasso (France):
Laurent Grasso’s work was filmed in the gardens at Bomarzo, also known as the ‘Park of Monsters’ (Parco dei Mostri) built by Count Vicino Orsini around 1550 in the province of Viterbo, Italy. The park houses extravagant sculptures illustrating mythological themes and characters, several of them inspired by the Dream of Poliphilus.

The Television Sky:
Melbourne-based instrumental and experimental trio composed of piano, guitar and drums. Their music aims to create sculptured soundtracks for movies that have yet to be made.

An unforgettable sensory experience, proven to be one of the most popular works of Paris’ Nuit Blanche, Purple Rain is a breathtaking visual and sound installation that entices you to pick up an umbrella and wander through mauve-coloured rain. Referencing the high kitsch rock ‘n’ roll film and song by infamous musician Prince, French artist Pierre Ardouvin literally interprets the 80s melancholic spirit with a piercing soundtrack to match.

Young Prayer riffs on the spiritual characteristics intrinsic to rock music, where the electric guitar is revered as a tool of sacrifice, exultation, violence, sexual expression and transcendence.  Stemming from Canadian William Robinson’s attraction to rock and its sub-genres of grunge, punk, new wave and thrash metal, an electric guitar is repeatedly lifted and dropped, ultimately smashing to reveal the clichéd nature this action has assumed over its relatively brief history, whilst at the same time commemorating its lineage and celebrating the distinctive auditory effects.

A White Night Melbourne Commission, directed by Lyn Williams OAM and Andrew Walsh AM, VOICES is a multifaceted choral installation work capturing the stories of young Australians from diverse backgrounds in a unique and powerful way. Members of Australia’s internationally renowned national children’s choir Gondwana Voices, aged 11 – 16, record an important moment in their lives or of one of their ancestors in a small, handmade, theatrically lit diorama.

Video projections of each child are screened as they sing their own composition based on their special story.   The audience circulates around the space, observing whilst listening to each child’s extremely personal lyrics. All the voices blend into one majestic and beautiful choral sound, the diverse vocal sounds joining as one.

A White Night Melbourne Commission, curator and cultural critic Ashley Crawford uncovers Cabinet of Curiosities, a fascinating multimedia exploration of the body via sculpture and video. Following on from his work on the exquisitely strange The World Below at the inaugural White Night Melbourne, Crawford converts the beloved Forum Theatre into a beguiling body parlour showcasing exceptional works by Australian artists Lisa Roet and Stelarc, as well as Tony Oursler from the USA.

A Video Survey of Recent Projects – Stelarc:
Cypriot-Australian performance artist Stelarc is internationally renowned for visually probing and acoustically amplifying his body. Between 1976 –1988 he completed 25 body suspension performances with hooks into the skin.

Monkey HEART – Lisa Roet:
This groundbreaking new artwork utilises 3D echocardiogram projections and MRI footage of the artist’s own heart supplied by Monash Heart and a gorilla’s organ by The International Primate Heart Project. Utilising turn of the century ‘smoke and mirror’ freak show techniques, this installation investigates the primate/human relationship and the beastly roots of mankind.

Selected Works – Tony Oursler (USA):
American multimedia installation artist, Tony Oursler works across a variety of mediums including video, sculpture, performance and painting. Utilising technology to produce illuminating projections, Oursler presents immersive works combining both visual and aural environments accompanied by spoken text, video and sculptural objects.

From psychedelic pop to dance electric, country/folk to metronomic percussion, listen to Melbourne’s finest, wildly entertaining bands from psychedelic pop to dance electric, country/folk to metronomic percussion. Discover local talent with an international flavour as a broad spectrum of artists explodes onto the main stage.

Programmed by Ali Bird, an impressive talent bursting with energy and flair, who brought the incredibly popular Morning Ritual to Melbourne Music Week.  Bands include Client Liaison, Teeth & Tongue, Fraser A. Gorman, Baptism Of Uzi, Black Cab, Beaches, Lost Animal and The Cactus Channel and The Murlocs.

For more information and the full White Night Melbourne programme, visit: for details.

Image: Pierre Ardouvin, Purple Rain – photo by Martin Argyroglo