South­bank

VOGUE Living Australia - - VLIST -

Ar­guably, no city in Aus­tralia comes close to Mel­bourne for the cul­ti­va­tion of cre­ativ­ity. From north to south, it eats, sleeps, drinks, de­signs, de­bates and writes about the urge to pro­duce, then films the whole flip­ping thing in a de­ter­mined ef­fort to il­lu­mi­nate its in­ner life. The South­bank arts precinct puts this pre­dis­po­si­tion on plain view, in build­ings that vent their ar­chi­tec­tural spleen. Fed­er­a­tion Square, a con­glom­er­ate of cul­tural at­trac­tions, takes in the Aus­tralian Cen­tre for the Mov­ing Im­age and The Ian Pot­ter Cen­tre: NGV Aus­tralia, where a full sur­vey of Aus­tralian art un­folds across 20-plus gal­leries. At the Pot­ter, prioritise the Abo­rig­i­nal art (se­nior cu­ra­tor Ju­dith Ryan is in­trin­sic to its breath­tak­ing scope), the An­gry Pen­guins (Aus­tralian avant-garde of the 1940s) and the De­sign Stu­dio, where Broached Com­mis­sions, a Mel­bourne de­sign agency in­ter­ro­gat­ing Aus­tralia’s aes­thetic, is ex­hibit­ing un­til Fe­bru­ary 2019. If predilec­tions run to cul­tural in­sti­tu­tions that push be­yond the pa­ram­e­ters of pos­ses­sion and ed­i­fi­ca­tion, the Aus­tralian Cen­tre for Contemporary Art is a ‘gotta-go-see’. Re­flect­ing rather than col­lect­ing, it is the killer kun­sthalle — gal­leries

Mel­bourne eats, sleeps, drinks, de­signs, de­bates and writes about the urge to pro­duce, then films the whole flip­ping thing

un­furl­ing with Tardis-like largesse in­side the folds of Wood Marsh ar­chi­tec­ture — that tack­les big is­sues and en­tices big names within small bounds. Dis­till­ing the per­sona of Mel­bourne in a quixotic blue­stone fortress that be­lies all in­ner mys­tery with its mouse­hole en­try (thank you, ar­chi­tect Sir Roy Grounds), the Na­tional Gallery of Vic­to­ria (NGV) cel­e­brates its 50th year at its St Kilda Road lo­ca­tion with more block­busters, big nights out (Fri­days are al­ways late-ac­cess fun) and the ex­pan­sive in­tent to build the NGV Contemporary (promis­ing to be Aus­tralia’s big­gest and best). The gallery’s cu­ra­to­rial eye coun­ter­points that of its new­bie neigh­bour Bux­ton Contemporary, where the Aus­tralian art ap­petite of one phil­an­thropic col­lec­tor, prop­erty mogul Michael Bux­ton, com­mu­ni­cates across every sur­face in the Fen­der Kat­sa­lidis-de­signed mu­seum. If visit­ing the city be­tween Oc­to­ber and Fe­bru­ary, head across St Kilda Road from the NGV to the Queen Vic­to­ria Gar­dens, where MPav­il­ion, the de­mount­able ar­chi­tec­ture com­mis­sion (cur­rently de­signed by Span­ish ar­chi­tect Carme Pinós) hosts daily de­bates and de­sign-fo­cused doings. acca.mel­bourne; acmi.net.au; bux­ton contemporary.com; mpav­il­ion.org; ngv.vic.gov.au

Lo­cated in Sturt Street, the Aus­tralian Cen­tre for Contemporary Art is housed in a Wood Marsh-de­signed build­ing.

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