RMIT Gallery will unleash 50 human rabbits today on the CBD at 12 noon!!!


Here are the human rabbit masks! (left to right) Mr Juan Carlos Gafo Acevedo, Consul General of Spain in Melbourne and Ciro Marquez, member of Spanish collective mmmm…

Why? It’s street art. It’s – somewhat political, very much social and perhaps…a little feral.

It’s – human rabbit street action – brought to Melbourne by Spanish collective mmmm….

They have been making street actions like this across the globe since 1998. Now they are making one for Melbourne as part of their eponymous exhibition mmmm…at RMIT Gallery (21 July – 9 September)

The street action will begin from the steps of RMIT Storey Hall, 344 Swanston Street on Friday 28 July at 12 noon until 2 pm.

Spanish art collective mmmm…has been producing art in public spaces since 1998, around the globe, and now it’s Melbourne’s turn. 

The Madrid based collective are in Melbourne to launch their provocative street action and have chosen rabbits to highlight issues of invasion, intruders, and who has the right to be in Australia – or not.

Even the Spanish Consul General is taking part!

Read more RMIT media release.

What: Human rabbits street action – by mmmm…

Where: Starting from RMIT Gallery,  344 Swanston Street, and continuing through the CBD

When:  Friday 28 July-12 noon until 2 pm

Book a guided tour – Fast Fashion: the dark side of fashion


Fast Fashion: the dark side of fashion, installation image, RMIT Gallery, by Nico Keenan, 2017.

Fashion is enticing, playful, consumable and therefore lucrative. As an industry it has a darker reputation that lurks behind the cheap clothes and sale signs luring in customers.

The RMIT Gallery/Goethe-Institut’s new exhibition Fast Fashion: the dark side of fashion (running until 9 September) strips away the glamorous veneer and exposes the brutal reality of the social, economic and environmental impacts of the low-cost garment industry.

In response, the exhibition’s Slow Fashion Studio provides an upbeat response, exploring new fashion practices and experiences to bring about positive change, featuring exciting new work from practitioners at RMIT ‘s School of Fashion and Textiles.

Bookings for free guided tours for school, university and community groups are now being taken. Please contact RMIT Gallery on (03) 9925 1717.

The following education resource material may be useful for your visit.

As you move through the exhibition, note down your thoughts and reactions to the issues presented. Below is a list of questions about some of the exhibits in the show.

When you get to each of these, read these questions and write down your responses while you are in front of the work.

Main room: LEFT WALL: Fashion and Consumption


Fast Fashion: the dark side of fashion, opening night image RMIT Gallery, 2017, by Nico Keenan.

  • Read the discussion of fashion and consumption.
  • What are your thoughts on what it says?
  • Do you agree with everything?
  • Look at the mannequins: Before you read the labels for the rotating mannequins, which do you think is the fast fashion outfit and which is the haute couture outfit?
  • Did you get it right?!
  • Why do you think these three garments are in the exhibition?

Side gallery: (painted black) Fashion and the Environment


Fast Fashion: the dark side of fashion, opening night image RMIT Gallery, 2017, by Nico Keenan.

  • What here is new information to you?
  • What alarms you?
  • What does the exhibition tell you about the solutions being developed to these problems?

Main room: REAR WALLS: Fashion and Economics ‘PEPE’ Photos by Paolo Woods of Haitian people wearing second hand slogan t-shirts.


Main room: REAR WALLS: Fashion and Economics ‘PEPE’ Photos by Paolo Woods of Haitian people wearing second hand slogan t-shirts.

  • Where do these t-shirts come from?
  • What are the associated ethical issues?

‘DEATH OF A THOUSAND DREAMS’ Photos by Talisman Akter

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‘DEATH OF A THOUSAND DREAMS’ Photos by Talisman Akter – exhibition image Fast Fashion: the dark side of fashion

The Rana Plaza factory collapse was a tragedy on a huge scale. What did the fashion industry do in its wake to prevent it happening again?

Watch this 4 Corners report ‘Fashion Victims’ Which discusses the tragedy from an Australian context.

VIDEO OF RECYCLING- describe the recycling process shown – and ‘CLOTHING RECYCLED’ Photos of recycling in India by Tim Mitchell

Tim Mitchell, Mutilated hosiery sorted by colour, 2005.

Mutilated hosiery sorted by colour, by Tim Mitchell, exhibited in Fast fashion: the dark side of fashion

What is being recycled and how? Are the processes chemical? Mechanical? Automatic? Manual?

Many fibres (synthetic and natural), can be successfully recycled, yet garment recycling is not widespread.

What are the challenges faced when recycling clothing?


Current clothing labelling is inadequate to explain the true origin of a garment. Why? What would be a better system, do you think?

Slow Fashion Studio (2 rooms, accessed from the entrance hall at the side of the front desk)


Slow Fashion Studio – part of the Fast Fashion: the dark side of fashion exhibition, RMIT Gallery opening night image 2017, by Nico Keenan.


  • Have you ever had a garment repaired by someone else? A family member or did you visit an alterations service?
  • Can you repair clothes yourself? Who taught you to do this?
  • Have you ever discarded clothing in need of repair? How?

‘OUTFIT FROM THE LIVING WARDROBE’ by Jo Cramer shows how designers could design everyday fashion to last longer through durability and versatility.

  • Do you have any garments that do these things?
  • Describe them. Do you have any garments you wish you could alter to fit better?
  • Why can’t you alter them?
  • 3 DRESSES BY GEORGIA MCCORKILL What comment is Georgia making about local manufacture?
  • Concluding thoughts: This worksheet has focused on some of the exhibits.
  • Look closely at the others as well and note down your thoughts. If someone asked you to define ‘fast fashion’, what would you say?
  • From looking at the slow fashion studio, what do you understand slow fashion to be?

Slow Fashion Studio – part of Fast Fashion: the dark side of fashion exhibition, opening night image, RMIT Gallery 2009, image by Nico Keenan.

  • What’s the most significant thing that stood out to you in the exhibition? What’s missing from the exhibition?
  • Anything?
  • What’s the exhibition’s message to young people such as yourself?
  • What are you wearing when you are not in school uniform? Think about what you wore on the weekend. Where is the outfit you wore on Saturday night from? How many times have you worn these garments? Are they favourites? How do they make you feel?
  • On trend? Comfortable? Invisible? Beautiful?
  • What’s the story of each piece? Don’t know enough???

Thank you to participating artist and lecturer Jo Cramer for use of this material by schools.

Fast Fashion: The dark side of fashion (running at RMIT Gallery until 9 September) is presented in collaboration with the Goethe-Institut and RMIT School of Fashion and Textiles.

Fast Fashion is curated by Dr Claudia Banz at the Museum für Kunst und Gewerbe in Hamburg and supported by Deutsche Bundesstiftung Umwelt and Karin Stilke Stiftung.




Madrid mmmm… collective’s human rabbits to take Melbourne by storm!

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RMIT MAPS (Master of Arts in Public Spaces) students test out the mmmm… human rabbit masks in Melbourne.

On Friday 28 July,  from 12- 2 pm, 50 human rabbits will invade downtown Melbourne. Fifty people, women and men, will walk the streets and laneways of the city scattered or in herd, wearing big rabbit cardboard-heads on their shoulders. They will walk fast, and suddenly stop from time to time, often looking sideways.

This thought-provoking street action is designed specifically for Melbourne by the Madrid-based mmmm… art collective with the support of the Embassy of Spain in Canberra. It will be held to coincide with the eponymous exhibition mmmm… their first retrospective (RMIT Gallery – 21 July- 9 September).RMIT_mmmm_Evite_Final

“In Australia, rabbits have negative connotations of invasive animals that destroy the local ecosystem, but universally rabbits are seen as cute and cuddly animals, and are considered pets in many countries. These contradictory associations, negative and positive, openly reflect with a touch of humour about the concepts of immigration, invasion, group, and identity,” the collective said.

mmmm… is a collaboration between Emilio Alarcón, Alberto Alarcón, Ciro Márquez and Eva Salmerón, who have been creating projects for public spaces since 1998 from Spain. All collective members will be in Melbourne for the exhibition opening and events. The exhibition explores 13 very different projects from 2000 to 2016 – including Human Rabbit Action, an intriguing project made specifically for RMIT Gallery – and Melbourne!

On Thursday 27 July from 5.30-6.30 pm at RMIT Gallery, local performer and academic Dr Mick Douglas (RMIT) will hold a public discussion with the mmmm… collective to explore performance street actions in an age of heightened security and risk. Who has access to public space? Who can speak and perform within it? Who can claim ownership of public space, and ultimately the ownership of events in the public sphere?

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Who owns the public space? Madrid’s mmmm… collective and RMIT students prepare for the Human Rabbit Action – taking street action to Melbourne.


There are 205 temporary bollards around the CBD, installed as anti-terror measures, designed to prevent the type of vehicle-based attack seen overseas and in Melbourne’s Bourke Street Mall. While artists have taken to covering them with colourful material and graffiti art, the bollards remain a reminder of safety issues in our cities.

In light of terrorism related incidents increasing in Melbourne and overseas, what is the role of public art actions in reshaping cultural landscapes and reclaiming public space in cities today?


Thursday 20 July 6-8 pm Opening night mmmm…
Guest speaker Mr. Juan Carlos Gafo Acevedo Consul General of Spain in Melbourne 

Thursday 27 July 5.30-6.30 pm
Street actions in an age of heightened risk – Mick Douglas (Melb performer) & mmmm… 

Friday 28 July 12-2 pm
Human Rabbits street action through the city, starting at RMIT Gallery.                                  


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Fast Fashion: the dark side of fashion – opening night 20 July at RMIT Gallery


The RMIT Gallery/ Goethe-Institut’s upcoming exhibition Fast Fashion: The dark side of fashion opens on 21 July and takes a critical look behind the scenes of the fashion industry and consumer habits. What’s the true cost of that cheap bargain hanging in your wardrobe?

In response, the exhibition’s Slow Fashion Studio provides an upbeat response, exploring new fashion practices and experiences to bring about positive change, featuring exciting new work from practitioners at RMIT’s School of Fashion and Textiles.

Thursday 20 July 6-8 pm Opening night Fast Fashion: the dark side of fashion

Opening speaker:
Fashion editor and author Clare Press


FREE Public Programs

19 July 5-6 pm
Sustainable Fashion Futures Ina Budde & Clare Press, RMIT Brunswick Campus 516.02.05 Lecture Theatre | 25 Dawson St, Brunswick
21 July & 22 July 12-1 pm
Luisa Hilmer, assistant curator MKG Hamburg, RMIT Gallery. Exhibition walk-through 
21 July 1-2 pm
Change-making beyond the catwalk Melinda Tually (Fashion Revolution Australia/NZ)
Clare Press & Ina Budde, RMIT Gallery.
22 July 1-3 pm
Repair Fair Workshop Courtney Holm (A.BCH), RMIT Gallery.
17 August 1-2 pm
Fashion as social business Sina Trinkwalder,  RMIT Gallery.
24 August 4-6.30 pm
Fast Forward: Fashion 2030 Meet the designers, RMIT Gallery.













Ocean Imaginaries catalogue now available


The Ocean Imaginaries catalogue featuring photos by Mark Ashkanasy and essays by professor John Finnigan FAA and curator Associate professor Linda Williams, RMIT School of Art.

Though inland far we be,
Our souls have sight of that immortal sea
Which brought us hither.

William Wordsworth Intimations of Immortality (1804)

Get your copy of the Ocean Imaginaries catalogue at RMIT Gallery – out now ($10) and featuring essays by Professor John Finnigan FAA, CSIRO Marine Atmospheric Research and ANU Research School of Biology, and Ocean Imaginaries curator Associate Professor Linda Williams.

Williams writes: “The Romantic image of the ocean as a potent, almost limitless source of energy has been contradicted recently by countervailing imagery of the slow violence of ocean pollution; this pollution not only represents a risk to human interests but also to a diverse range of endangered marine creatures. Consequently, while the vibrant imagery of wild, pristine oceans still persists in contemporary culture, it is now often displaced by an imagery of pollution, destruction and potential catastrophe.”

With stunning photos by Mark Ashkanazy of work by artists Anne Bevan, Emma Critchley and John Roach, Alejandro Durán, Simon Finn, Stephen Haley, Lynne Roberts-Goodwin, Chris Jordan, Sam Leach, Janet Laurence, Mariele Neudecker, Joel Rea, Dominic Redfern, Debbie Symons, Jason deCaires Taylor, teamLab, Guido van der Werve, Chris Wainwright, Lynette Wallworth and Josh Wodak.

Professor John Finnigan FAA writes “In this wonderful exhibition artists have taken patterns of ocean life that science has revealed and they have made us see them anew.  Through the creative tension they have built between science’s cold equations and their own potent reimaginings, they have taken us one more essential step towards the time when sustainability will inform both our political choices and our personal behaviour.”

The Ocean Imaginaries exhibition closes 1 July – don’t miss it.



Vale Richard Toop: a force in our musical culture

Vale Richard Toop, who passed away on 19 June 2017. The world renowned musicologist played a pivotal role in encouraging the focus on a Sonic Art Collection as part of the RMIT Art Collection.

RMIT Gallery Director Suzanne Davies, who acknowledged Toop’s influence in the recent Ocean Imaginaries catalogue, said that Toop “opened our eyes, ears and hearts to New Music of the 20th century and beyond.”

“I am feeling bereft. The world is now a lesser place.”

Toop, who retired from the Sydney Conservatorium (University of Sydney) in 2010, spent his entire career in contact with some of Europe’s leading modernist composers, and is remembered by generations of students as an inspiring and generous teacher.

His publications include a book on Ligeti, a book of Stockhausen analyses, numerous analytical articles and book chapters, and several contributions to the Grove Dictionary of Music, including the entries on Ferneyhough and Stockhausen.

In 2011, as part of three exhibitions that explored music and spatial qualities in architecture, Davies invited Toop to give a lecture on the Greek-born composer Iannis Xenakis.

RMIT Gallery Director Suzanne Davies introduces Richard Toop at his 2011 Gallery lecture on Xenakis: Music and Architecture.

Davies said Toop’s lecture on music and architecture furthered the dialogue in this area.

Toop spoke about the relationship between music and architecture in the second half of the 20th century, with particular reference to Xenakis, the seminal modernist composer who was also an architect and, during the 1950s, one of Le Corbusier’s right-hand men.

In his lecture, Toop said, “When Xenakis finally asked in 1954 to have an entire project entrusted to him, Le Corbusier immediately gave him the Convent project of La Tourette. This was a slightly ironic choice, given Xenakis’s implacable atheism, and Le Corbusier enjoyed referring jokingly to ‘Xenakis’s Convent’.

“It was at this time that Xenakis began work on what he was to regard as his first ‘real’ composition, Metastaseis. I should point out here one big difference between compositional and architectural projects. Composers work at different speeds, and if you have a day job, as Xenakis did, then you have much less time for composing. Even so, you would normally expect to dispatch a fairly short orchestral work, however novel, within a year, and indeed that was the case with Metastaseis. A building however, can’t really be regarded as finished until it is built, and that takes years. By the time the La Tourette convent was completed, in 1960, Xenakis had broken with Le Corbusier, and his music had moved in very different directions.”

After splitting with Le Corbusier, Xenakis went on to create many ‘Polytopes’, which combine music, architectural space and lighting in an entirely original manner. Toop included many musical and visual examples in his talk.

The well received lecture drew a large audience and the video remains one of the most popular on the RMIT Gallery YouTube channel.

“RMIT Gallery is a forum for exploring all areas of creative discourse; and architects, designers and musicians benefited greatly from this event,” Davies said.





Don’t miss out: Last weeks of Ocean Imaginaries

Ocean Imaginaries closes on 1 July. Don’t miss out on this exhibition which has captured the imagination of audiences. They have filled the visitor’s book with their heart-felt responses.

‘The whole exhibition is astounding!’, ‘Thought provoking’, ‘Wonderful’, ‘Blows your mind’, ‘What a magical place’ and ‘Moving, compelling and inspiring!’

Curated by Associate Professor Linda Williams, RMIT School of Art, this international exhibition showcases the work of 20 artists who provide complex responses to global oceans in our era.

Listen to curator Linda Williams talk about Ocean Imaginaries

One highlight is Lynette Wallworth’s powerfully evocative fulldome video work Coral, Rekindling Venus, shown for the first time in an art gallery. Audiences are transported to the mysterious realm of fluorescent coral reefs, and provided with a glimpse into a magnificent environment threatened by climate change.

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“Coral Rekindling Venus shows such awe inspiring beauty – how can we continue to pollute our oceans? I feel grateful to have viewed the exhibition but I feel also upset and angry and helpless about the situation…change has to happen. Thank you.”

Wallworth, who regularly attends the WEF, Davos as a Cultural Leader and mentors regularly at Sundance Labs, captivated a large audience at RMIT Gallery when she flew down from Sydney to speak of her own experience in how the arts can inspire action on climate change.