Farewell Experimenta – behind the scenes of the ‘bump out’


This week we bid farewell to Experimenta Recharge the media art exhibition that has attracted large crowds to its interactive exhibits since November, and delighted audiences on its final viewing at White Night Melbourne on Saturday 21 February.


What a contrast RMIT Gallery is on the first days after the exhibition has ended, and we de-install the artworks. The images of the bustling gallery full of people and artwork are already are fading into memory. The main photo (above, top) is what remains of Khaled Sabsabi’s work 70,000 Veils – a massive piece utilising television screens projecting images to be viewed through 3D glasses (above, with the audience, at RMIT Gallery’s White Night Melbourne event on 21 February).


The day after an exhibition ends it is always a surprise to walk into the main gallery and the magic has gone, and the space transformed. Where there were artworks and an audience, now it is just an empty space quickly filled with boxes, pieces of wood, material being recycled and everything packed up to be freighted to the next location. Above is the crowd arriving for White Night Melbourne and pouring through the gallery reception – below is the same view, two days later, filled with the massive stack of television monitor boxes that were used for Sabsabi’s work.


The two week period of ‘bumping out’ the current exhibition and ‘bumping in’ the new one, means that RMIT Gallery is transformed in that time to something of a building site, with teams of technicians working under the direction of RMIT Gallery registrar Peter Wilson, to take down the current exhibition,  and then prepare the walls and perhaps new partitions for the next exhibition layout.






Down comes Ei Wada’s Towering Records, the installation piece that transfixed audiences with its storytelling and visual magic.

Ei Wada (Japan)

Ei Wada (Japan)

Once all the artwork has been packed away to be freighted back to different locations, all that remains are holes on the walls to be painstakingly patched, and paint colors to be taken back to the blank canvas of the White Cube.  It takes a large team and an enormous amount of work to keep the gallery walls looking immaculate, ready for the presentation of the new exhibitions.Why do we go to this effort?


RMIT Gallery Director and Chief Curator Suzanne Davies said “we want to intensify people’s experience and we can do that by making sure that the environment supports a pleasurable visual experience for the viewer and reflects the respect with which we hold for the artwork and the artist’s vision.”


In the next few blogs, we will explore the installation of our three new upcoming exhibitions, and behind the scenes details of the genesis of their ideas and curatorial rationale. These exhibitions are:

RMIT Gallery India Exhibition Consultant Helen Rayment's behind the scenes images in India of 'Unfolding: New Indian Textiles'.

RMIT Gallery India Exhibition Consultant Helen Rayment’s behind the scenes images in India of ‘Unfolding: New Indian Textiles’.

Unfolding: New Indian Textiles

20 March – 30 May 2015

Contemporary Indian textile designers and artists examine the reinvention of traditional textiles within the wider context of international art and fashion.

Japanese Art After Fukushima: Return of Godzilla

20 March – 30 May 2015

Japanese artists respond to the events at the Fukushima nuclear power plant in 2011 and its environmental implications.

Backs of Banaras

20 March – 30 May 2015

Photographer Terry Burrows visual essay in the textiles of the everyday that conveys much of the cultural wealth and contradiction that is contemporary India.






Happy New Year! RMIT Gallery has reopened for 2015 with Experimenta Recharge

visitor comments


RMIT Gallery has reopened after the Christmas break and is filled with relaxed tourists and locals enjoying the city sights. Our visitor book is brimming with lovely comments about our summer media exhibition Experimenta Recharge 6th International Biennial of Media Art. If you are in Melbourne, come on in – we are open every day except Sunday and until 7 pm on Wednesday nights – so come in a play around with the exhibits.


What the media are saying:





Experimenta artist Abel Korinsky – who will speak about his work at RMIT Gallery tonight in the Big Bang Sounds event – is featured in a new article by APHRA magazine online.

Abel Korinsky one of the three brothers in the Korinsky collective (Germany). Their immersive installations and public sound works explore the emotional and physical effects of directional sound. Implementing their own  custom-developed software called ‘Vertical Sound Lab’, Korinsky produce highly rich, multi-layered auditory and visual illusions.
On Wednesday 29 October from 5.30-7 pm, Abel will join Lawrence Harvey, Associate Professor and Director SIAL Sound Studios, RMIT University and American astrophysicist Dr Katie Mack about dark matter, black holes and how new research and finding may change our lives in the future.
Abel Korinsky is Experiment’a artist-in-residence as part of the EMARE AUS CDN Move On Exchange (European Media Artists in Residence Exchange with Australia and Canada). This program is supported by the Culture 2013 Program of the European Commission and the Goethe Institut. Abel is pictured above with (far right) Gabriele Urban, Cultural officer from the Goethe-Institut Australien (Melbourne) at the recent Recharge Experimenta sixth international of biennial art launch.

Abel Korinsky is hosted by RMIT School of Art International Artist in Residency Program.

To learn more about Korinsky’s work read the APHRA article here.
A new work by Korinsky is included in the upcoming Experimenta Recharge 6th International Biennial of Media Art exhibition held at RMIT Gallery from 28 November 2014 to 21 February 2015.
Seating limited for the Big Bang Sounds talk: Bookings essential: (03) 9925 1717.

Then & Now: Storey Hall – home of RMIT Gallery

Did you come to RMIT Gallery to see the blockbuster music exhibition 2013-2014 exhibition “Music, Melbourne and Me: 40 Year’s of Melbourne’s Popular Music Culture”? Perhaps you recall going to see bands in Storey Hall in the 1970s…Working at RMIT Gallery in the grand old building on Swanston Street in the heart of Melbourne where RMIT University’s city campus is located, means working with layers of the past and all the stories people confide about their own memories of the building in years gone by.


A short pictorial guide to the background of Storey Hall has been published in RMIT’s online Alumni Magazine featuring this great old photo.

Storey Hall then-1

The Alumni Magazine article got us thinking about how different RMIT Gallery looks now – and how little the beautifully preserved facade has really changed over the years. Here are some of the ways that the RMIT Gallery facade has been tweaked slightly during various exhibitions.

2013 – 2014


Music, Melbourne and Me: 40 years of Mushroom and Melbourne’s Popular Music Culture 19 November 2013 – 22 February 2014, Photo: Mark Ashkanasy. The gorgeous neon lured visitors to the blockbuster music exhibition, curated by Suzanne Davies and Dr Kipps Horn.


That’s the queue to get into the exhibition on closing night which coincided with White Night Melbourne on Saturday 22 February 2014 when RMIT Gallery was open from 7 pm to 7 am. People waited for up to an hour to get inside….







Experimenta Speak to Me – 5th International Biennial of Media Art,  14 September – 17 November 2012. Staff loved this piece as late at night, people would be pushing against the front door trying to get in, convinced it was one of Melbourne’s infamous secret clubs. We would also delight in watching people take selfies with Shimura’s work glowing around them.

Artwork by:

Nobuhiro Shimura

Red Carpet, 2010
edition 1/5
digital video projection
Purchased through the RMIT Art Fund, 2012
Acc. no: RMIT.2013.3
Main image courtesy Mark Ashkanasy, opening night photo by Vicki Jones.

Zandra Rhodes: A Lifelong Love Affair with Textiles Monday 11 February – Saturday 22 March

Neon Sign (5)

Zandra Rhodes: A Life Long Love Affair with Textiles showcased the stunning creations of fashion doyenne Zandra Rhodes at RMIT Gallery in the UK designer’s first major retrospective in Australia. The exhibition, co curated by RMIT Gallery Director Suzanne Davies, charted the designer’s creative progress from initial inspiration to the finished product, bringing to life many of her iconic designs over the past four decades.

Neon Sign (3)


Exhibition Signage Swanston Street (1)

Heat: Art and Climate Change, Friday 12 September – Saturday 18 October 2008.

A living sign for Australia’s first climate change exhibition, curated by Linda Williams and Suzanne Davies. Photos: Mark Ashkanasy.






RMIT Gallery commemorates the 30th anniversary of the death of Elvis Presley with the exhibition Living Elvis – Friday 17 August – 20 October 2007. Photos: Mark Ashkanasy.