RMIT Gallery Images of Revolution film screenings start tonight

Tonight’s special evening screening of Rocky Road to Dublin at RMIT Gallery provides an important portrait of Ireland in the Sixties, and is part of the film program that complements the Irish exhibition Radical Actions.

As artists have always played a key role in shaping cultural identity, and given the far reaching repercussions of the 1916 Rising, RMIT Gallery and the Communication, Politics and Culture Research Centre present Images of Revolution – six films that reflect a deep commitment to social change and progressive politics.

Directed by Peter Lennon, with cinematography by Raoul Coutard,  Rocky Road to Dublin will be introduced by documentary maker David Muir ACS BSC. Event – Thursday 29 September 5.30-7.30 pm. Free – register here.

Encouraged by the controversy he had stirred with a series of newspaper articles and inspired by French ‘New Wave’ filmmakers, Dublin-born Peter Lennon, who worked in Paris as a journalist for a decade, revisited his native country in 1967 to make a film assessing the state of the nation.

Muir (pictured above, in orange) lived and worked in Europe in the 60s and 70s and was a colleague and close friend of cinematographer Raoul Coutard (above, black and white photo), who he describes as “as an independent ‘Radical’ in all ways”.

Lennon took the then young, now legendary, cinematographer Raoul Coutard with him and they created a provocative and revealing portrait of Ireland, a society characterised by a stultifying educational system, a morally repressive and politically reactionary clergy, a myopic cultural nationalism, and a government which seemingly knew no boundary between church and state.

Muir will talk about the Paris Lennon and Coutard left for Dublin, and Coutard as a radical in both use of camera and ideas.


Images of Revolution film program

On Thursday 6 October 5.30-6.30 pm, RMIT Gallery presents the Australian premiere of the provocative new Irish activist film Eat Your Children (dir. Treasa O’Brien & Mary Jane O’Leary) 2015. Bookings

With tastings from Dublin distillery Teeling Whiskey.


The screening of Eat Your Children has been generously sponsored by the EU Centre at RMIT. Guest speaker: Liam Ward, Associate lecturer, RMIT

Tuesday 11 October 1–2 pm


Michael, They’ve Shot Them (dir. Eoin Hahessy) 45 min. Australia. Book here 

Guest Speaker, Eoin Hahessy, film director.

Thursday 13 October 5.30–7.00 pm

Strikebound (dir. Richard Lowenstein) 1984. 101 min. Australia.Book here 

Guest Speaker, Richard Lowenstein, film director.

Thursday 20 October 5.30–7.30 pm

Indonesia Calling: Joris Ivens In Australia (dir. John Hughes) 2009. 90 mins. Australia. Book here 

Guest speaker: Adjunct Prof Dr John Hughes, film director.

Friday 21 October 1-2.30 pm

The Battle of Chile, Part 1: The Insurrection of the Bourgeoisie (dir. Patricio Guzmán) 1975. 96 min. Chile. Book here 

Guest speaker: Dr Antonio Castillo, Director of the Centre for Communication, Politics and Culture, CPC, RMIT University.





Bijoy Jain – MPavilion 2016 exhibition inauguration on September 28


Bijoy Jain Studio Mumbai: Making MPavilion 2016, installation image, Tobias Titz, RMIT Gallery.

Step inside the creative process of celebrated Indian architect Bijoy Jain of Studio Mumbai at RMIT Gallery’s new exhibition that explores the inspirations and processes of making and designing MPavilion 2016.

Bijoy Jain Studio Mumbai: Making MPavilion 2016 (9 September – 22 October) provides a rare insight into the renowned Indian architect’s process.

The exhibition will be inaugurated by opera singer Deborah Cheetham  AO, Artistic Director of the Short Black Opera Company on Wednesday 28 September, 6-8 pm.

We warmly invite you to join us at this event – Bijoy Jain will be flying in from India that morning, and will be attending this event in his honour.

RMIT_MPavilion_FinalEvite_1200pxTo coincide with the public opening of MPavilion 2016, Bijoy Jain will present a highly anticipated public lecture at RMIT Gallery on 5 October 1-2 pm. Jain will elaborate on his design philosophy and the inspirations and challenges in designing this year’s MPavilion.

Bijoy Jain said that the exhibition at RMIT Gallery will provide context and insight into Studio Mumbai’s objective in designing MPavilion 2016.

“This is not just to create a new building, but to capture the spirit of the place by engaging the right materials and by respecting the surrounding nature through close collaboration with local artisans, craftsmen and engineers,” Jain said.


Bijoy Jain, photo courtesy of Nicholas Watt.

Bijoy Jain Studio Mumbai: Making MPavilion 2016 is presented in partnership with RMIT Gallery, Naomi Milgrom Foundation, Confluence: Festival of India in Australia.

 MPavilion 2016, Queen Victoria Gardens, Melbourne, will be presented free to the public from 5 October 2016 through 5 February 2017.



ELISION’s concert takes audiences on a dynamic sound journey


Tristram Williams performing Matthew Sergeant’s work ‘terrains’ at ELISION Ensemble’s concert The Surface Project, RMIT Storey Hall, 2016. Photo by Margund Sallowsky.

Congratulations ELISION Ensemble on a wonderful performance at last night’s concert of The Surface Project at RMIT Storey Hall, presented by RMIT Gallery in partnership with RMIT SIAL Sound Studios.

The concert was part of the public programs for the RMIT Gallery exhibition ELISION:30 years, on until 22 October.

Composers Matthew Sergeant flew in from the UK and Timothy McCormack from the US to hear their works performed.

Sergeant’s work [terrains] was written for Tristram Williams (who performed the piece), “in friendship and the sincerest admiration.”


Composer Matthew Sergeant applauds musician Tristram Williams after his performance of ‘terrains’

“It’s certainly not really about development, as the word is usually defined. Nor is it really about contrast,” explains Sergeant.

“In one way I suppose it’s more like watching an earwig or a mountain goat weave its way across different planes – some steep, some high, some tight, some sprawling – and watching that same creature accommodate such different lands in its gait.

“And yet, in another way, it’s about the land itself. A mountain not just as a relief but as an imprint in the sky. And how – just like the ‘Gestalt Vase’ (is it a vase or two opposing faces?) – one’s impression oscillates between foregroundings of these different states. Relief/imprint. Pitch/noise.

The Surface Project concert performance was especially emotional for composer Timothy McCormack, as it was the world premiere of his work ‘subsidence’.

The music, performed by Daryl Buckley and Peter Neville, took audiences on a haunting Gothic journey – and the composition itself took four years and featured a ‘third player’ – according to Buckley, ‘the instrument asserted itself in the piece.’

McCormack explains: “subsidence plumbs a nearly featureless world of soft but charged noise to reveal its subterranean motion. At times static, at times turbulent, the movements and behaviours within this noise embody a geologic heaviness and hugeness.

“Named after the gradual caving in or sinking of an area of land, subsidence enacts a slow concentration of matter and energy which give way to a protracted, eventually cataclysmic implosion.”


(left to right) Daryl Buckley in rehearsal with composer Timothy McCormack, working on McCormack’s piece ‘subsidence’.

Subsidence was commissioned and recorded for the RMIT Sonic Arts Collection.

The Surface Project comprised four works – Aaron Cassidy’s The wreck of former boundaries (for electric lap-steel guitar and electronics),  Matthew Sergeant’s  [terrains] (For quartertone flugelhorn with preparation), the world premiere of Timothy McCormack’s subsidence (for electric lap-steel guitar with two players) and Richard Barrett’s Codex III (for three players).

Associate professor Lawrence Harvey, Director of the RMIT Spatial Information Architecture Laboratory (SIAL) provided sound spatialisation, along with technical management by Simon Maisch.

“This concert continues RMIT’s research and practice into spatial music performance,” said Harvey.
“For this performance we used a different software solution, but similar technique to previous events.  The different software for sound spatialisation, meant we could move individual instrument sounds in real-time, making for a more dynamic and responsive approach to the sound.

ELISION Ensemble musicians (left to right) Tristram Williams, Peter Neville and Daryl Buckley perform Richard Barrett’s ‘Codex 111’ at The Surface Project concert performance, RMIT Storey Hall, 2016. Photo by Margund Sallowsky.

 “We also placed the performers further into the sound-field of the speakers, allowing them to hear more of the spatialisation.”
A video of The Surface Project concert will be shown during the RMIT Gallery exhibition ELISION: 30 years (9 September – 22 October).



Free ELISION concert – September 21 RMIT Storey Hall


(left to right) musician Daryl Buckley with visiting composers Matthew Sergeant and Timothy McCormack, at RMIT Gallery’s ELISION: 30 years exhibition.

The internationally renowned ELISION Ensemble will be performing in a free concert at RMIT Storey Hall on Wednesday 21 September from 6.30-8 pm.

Register for tickets

The Surface Project concert features Daryl Buckley, Peter Neville and Tristram Williams performing the world premiere of Timothy McCormack’s subsidence, as well as works by Aaron Cassidy, Matthew Sergeant and Richard Barrett.

This is a wonderful opportunity to see ELISION in concert in Melbourne. The Ensemble explore new ways of incorporating performative techniques into musical performance, making the contemporary classical music concert both visually and aurally exciting for audiences.

ELISION turns 30 years old this year. To celebrate, RMIT Gallery’s exhibition ELISION: 30 years (9 September – 22 October) features regular performances and talks, as well as The Surface Project concert performance. Read the full list of lunchtime performances and talks. 

‘ELISION cultivates an elaborate vocabulary of choreographic behaviour in sonic design’ said creative director, and founding member Daryl Buckley.

‘The Surface Project will showcase radical new techniques in performance.’

Audiences will be able to hear Aaron Cassidy’s The wreck of former boundaries, Matthew Sergeant’s terrains, Richard Barett’s Codex as well as Timothy McCormack’s subsidence. All works fall under the rubric of The Surface Project.

Buckley will play an electric lap-steel guitar, which combined with new tunings, new double slide techniques and a radical use of the bridge system to affect pitch alteration, will enable an exploration of the concept of ‘surface’ across the three works.

The Surface Project  will be premiered at RMIT on 21 September, in partnership with SIAL Sound Studios. It will then tour as part of the ELISION Ensemble’s ongoing appearances at the Harvard Music Department, Carriageworks, the Singapore Festival and the Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival.



Andrew Ford, composer and presenter of The Music Show on Radio National, talks to ELISION creative director Daryl Buckley, and to composer Liza Lim. Listen now





Radical Actions: Irish artists join us at RMIT Gallery

Jesse Linda & Seamus

Radical Actions curator Linda Shevlin (centre) with artists Jesse Jones and Seamus Nolan, outside RMIT Gallery in Melbourne.

Curator Linda Shevlin and artists Jesse Jones and Seamus Nolan are in Melbourne for the opening of their exhibition Radical Actions on Thursday 8 September 6-8 pm, featuring Teeling Whiskey tastings. Join us!

On Friday 9 September from 1-2.30 pm, our Irish visitors will take audiences through the exhibition, and join Associate Professor Chris Hudson from RMIT’s Communication, Politics and Culture Research Centre to discuss responses to the 1916 Easter Rising 200 years on and the role of artists in imagining and reassessing national identities forged in revolution. Register here for tickets to the Images of Rebellion tour and talk.

Radical Actions (RMIT Gallery: 9 September – 22 October) curated by Linda Shevlin, features new and existing work by Kennedy Browne (Gareth Kennedy & Sarah Browne), Duncan Campbell, Jesse Jones and Seamus Nolan that explores the after effects of Irish independence and self-governance.

“The 1916 Commemoration should not be a time for soft words or a gazing backwards through a green-tinged prism at an idealised past,” said Shevlin.

Join us at RMIT Gallery for both events.