Artist Julio Falagán’s donations help RMIT students

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(left to right) Kim Baldwin ‎Assistant Director, Advancement Operations, RMIT and Claudia Llanza, Cultural Department, Consulate General of Spain in Melbourne, with money donated during the Power to the People! exhibition.

Crowdfunding, philanthropic support, corporate partnerships – usually it’s artists seeking funding for their work from audiences. But visiting Spanish artist Julio Falagán left a big legacy at RMIT after his September 2015 exhibition Power to the People! at RMIT Gallery.

In a grand gesture, the artist – from one of Europe’s cash-trapped countries – turned the tables and donated money from his exhibition to disadvantaged students.

Falagán’s work questions power and the established status quo through humour and irony. During his exhibition Power to the People!  late in 2015, he invited audiences to take his work off RMIT Gallery’s walls and – for a coin donation – photocopy prints for their own art collections.

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Donations for artwork: (far left) artist Julio Falagán asked audiences to donate a gold coin in return for copies of his artwork at his 2015 RMIT Gallery exhibition. And people power responded with generous donations. Photo: Vicki Jones Photography.

“The total amount raised through this exhibition was $693.70, a fantastic outcome! ” said Kim Baldwin, Assistant Director, Advancement Operations, RMIT.

“Thank you again, to Julio Falagán, the Consulate General of Spain in Melbourne and  RMIT Gallery for organising this and matching donations.

“The Scholarship Philanthropy Fund through RMIT Gallery’s Power to the People exhibition will make an incredible difference to RMIT students. It’s a great show of support for our students!”

WHAT DONATIONS MEAN TO STUDENTS

Every year, RMIT’s Scholarship team receives around 5,000 eligible applications for scholarships, but only 1,500 receive funding. By donating to the Scholarship Philanthropy Fund audiences at the Power to the People exhibition helped create more scholarships for students. Now that’s Power to the People, by the people!

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Generosity – money donated to the RMIT Scholarship Fund during the Power to the People! exhibition in 2015.

“Scholarships are great enablers of talent. They give bright students access to the life-changing experience of tertiary education and all the life-long advantages that flow from that experience,” Ms Baldwin said.

“Scholarships also empower students and show them that the University believes in their potential. This is an incredible motivator for students from disadvantaged backgrounds who may not have family support or financial backing.”

For more information on giving to RMIT, please visit www.rmit.edu.au/giving 

As part of the Power to the People! exhibition, a public forum and drinks were held on Thursday 24 September, with the topic ‘Questioning Power: The media and popular culture’, being considered by artist Julio Falagán, journalist and academic Dr Antonio Castillo and artist and architect Ciro Márquez.

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Power to the People! An audience crowds in to listen to Julio Falagan, Antonio Castillo and Ciro Márquez discuss themes and ideas arising from the exhibition at RMIT Gallery.

 

RMIT Gallery is open on Grand Final day – come on in!

Power to the People! Collect free color posters of Julio Falagán’s artwork. Photo: Vicki Jones Photography

Power to the People! Collect free color posters of Julio Falagán’s artwork. Photo: Vicki Jones Photography

Yes, it’s a long weekend coming up. Melbourne is a sporting city, and this Friday October 2 has been declared a public holiday, in honour of the AFL grand final. But wait – according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, going to cultural venues and attending sporting events as a spectator are all popular pastimes for many Australians.

So why not do both on the newly minted Grand Final eve public holiday.  RMIT Gallery will be open as usual from 11 am to 5 pm. And also from 12 noon to 5 pm on Saturday 3 October.

The AFL Grand Final Parade will take place from 12pm AEST. Marching bands and roving entertainment will join in from the Old Treasury Building to Yarra Park at the MCG.

The participation and attendance surveys conducted by the ABS indicate that people who participated in sport and physical recreation went to both cultural and sporting events, more so than non-participants. So, if you are in the city for the Grand Final eve festivities, come along to RMIT Gallery as well.

You can collect your free artwork at Spanish artist Julio Falagán’s exhibition Power to the People! The artist invites audiences to become art collectors by taking home posters of the five original works made through the manipulation of popular prints bought in flea markets.

Meanwhile, in Performing Mobilities, the majority of the new and experimental works invite you to engage in your own forms of performing mobility. A number of projects even invite you to leave the Gallery with a particular aspect of an artwork as part of participating in mobile performances.

Take a line for a walk! And then take a selfie. This work by David Thomas and laurene Vaughan makes visible the trajectories and duration of transition within and across place.

Take a line for a walk! And then take a selfie. This work by David Thomas and Laurene Vaughan makes visible the trajectories and duration of transition within and across place.

According to exhibition curator Mick Douglas, “Performing Mobilities invites us to challenge ourselves about the way in which we think about and experience mobility.”

“A number of the different artworks invite you to playfully engage with them, even to take the artworks out of the Gallery and interact with them in the city.”

Victorian Seniors Festival: RMIT Gallery morning tea and art tours

Get your free artwork at Power to the People! - RMIT Gallery is giving away large color posters of Spanish artist Julio Falagán's work (pictured, left). Photo: Vicki Jones Photography

Get your free artwork at Power to the People! RMIT Gallery is giving away large color posters of Spanish artist (pictured, left) Julio Falagán’s work. Photo: Vicki Jones Photography

During the first week of the 33rd Victorian Seniors Festival, RMIT Gallery is hosting a special morning tea for seniors on Thursday 8 October from 11 am-12 noon.

Free public transport is available to Victorian Seniors Card holders during this week, with free travel on trams, trains and buses including free travel on V/Line economy class rail and coach.

So, take advantage of this opportunity and come into the Melbourne CBD and enjoy a special cultural activity at RMIT Gallery, with morning tea, as you explore the exhibitions Power to the People! and Performing Mobilities.

Our experienced guide will provide an insight into the new Performing Mobilities exhibition which presents new, experimental work that explores the mobility of people, migration, and worlds in motion.

Kick your shoes off and walk on a large expanse of pink salt from the Murray Darling region – or even lie down and make ‘salt angels’ if you feel so inclined (the artist Mick Douglas says both use and interpretation of the work is up to you – the audience!) Other intriguing works include taking a colored stick for a short stroll around the gallery – or event up Swanston Street; throwing a Frisbee around; or (for the energetic) jumping on arrows placed on the gallery floor. It’s all part of the physical engagement with an exhibition that even reveals a pigeon’s view of the journey home.

Walk in Mick Douglas’ work ‘Sal De Sal’ at Performing Mobilities. The installation presents a body of salt recently collected from the Murray-Darling Basin, an area of increasing salinity. Photo: Vicki Jones Photography.

Walk in Mick Douglas’ work ‘Sal De Sal’ at Performing Mobilities. The installation presents a body of salt recently collected from the Murray-Darling Basin, an area of increasing salinity. Photo: Vicki Jones Photography.

Don’t go home without taking your enormous, gorgeous high quality free color poster of artwork by Spanish artist Julio Falagán, who delighted audiences with his witty take on breaking into the competitive art market during his recent visit to Melbourne.

Julio’s exhibition ‘Power to the People!’ also invites audiences to become art collectors by taking his original work off the wall and for a small coin donation, photocopying your favourite. All money donated goes directly to the RMIT Scholarship Philanthropy Fund for disadvantaged undergraduate students.

We look forward to seeing you at the RMIT Gallery Seniors Morning Tea and Tour. Please note, if you are accompanying a Senior who requires assistance, we also welcome you to join in all the activities, give-aways and morning tea.

What: RMIT Gallery Seniors Morning Tea and Tour.

When: Thursday 8 October from 11 am-12 noon.

Cost: Free for Seniors and their carers.

Where: RMIT Gallery, 344 Swanston Street Melbourne (diagonally opposite Melbourne Central station, or take the tram along Swanston Street to Melbourne Central stop).

Bookings: appreciated, for catering: (03) 9925 1717.

Highlights of previous Seniors Festival activities at RMIT Gallery

2014: Warlayirti: The Art of Balgo – curator talk with Dr Jacky Healy

2014: Warlayirti: The Art of Balgo – curator talk with Dr Jacky Healy

2011: Space Invaders – print workshop with street artist Twone

2011: Space Invaders – print workshop with street artist Twone

2010: Somewhat Different: German design exhibition

2010: Somewhat Different: German design exhibition

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Spanish artist Julio Falagán visits RMIT Gallery – and gives away copies of his artwork

 Spanish artist Julio Falagán's exhibition Power to the People! at RMIT Gallery from September 25-24 October invites audiences to take artwork off the gallery walls and, for a coin donation, photocopy colour prints for their own art collection. Photo Evelyn Tsitas

Spanish artist Julio Falagán’s exhibition Power to the People! at RMIT Gallery from September 25-24 October invites audiences to take artwork off the gallery walls and, for a coin donation, photocopy colour prints for their own art collection. Visitors can also take home huge color posters of his work free of charge.

He might still have a bit of jet lag, but RMIT Gallery asked visiting Spanish artist Julio Falagán some questions about his Melbourne visit and the launch of his exhibition Power to the People! at RMIT Gallery from 25 September-24 October.

You will be having a public talk with journalist Dr Antonio Castillo, and artist-academic Ciro Márquez from 4.30 pm on Thursday 24 September, and then official opening from 6 pm to 8 pm. Like you the other speakers are interested in how the citizen can subvert power and have a voice that is heard. Can you give us some idea of what you might be talking about? Perhaps revealing something of the political nature of your work?

I don’t really like to prepare presentations and giving a speech, I would rather create a debate with the other participants in a more spontaneous way, more alive. In my job I follow the same philosophy, I try not to take a unilateral stance, not to give answers, I’d rather find a good question. I enjoy the interaction with the spectator, the fact that my work requires the spectator to be an essential piece of the work.

I don’t like to call myself a political artist, my aim is far from doing politics with art, but I do live in a political society, which is why any statement can be understood as such. I simply give my opinion about things that surround me, from the point of view of those who don’t have a voice, I try to lay on the table / bring up issues that are overlooked.

Melbourne audiences will be able to have their very own Falagán original poster by photocopying your artwork. Doesn’t this go against the idea that artists need to protect their copyright?

Many of my works deal with this issue, and the difficulties the artist faces to professionalise their career, the speculation of the art market, and the dehumanisation of art. Art is a swampy territory, there’s no such thing as a unique truth, it is a contradiction in itself. This is why at the same time I sell my work I also give copies of it away.Culture can’t be something reserved for a privileged minority – we must, as artists, fight as much as possible to democratise art.

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What are the circumstances for artists in Spain right now? Is it even harder for them because of the financial crisis, or does that simply make so many other people in similar circumstances to artists, who have always had to struggle?

Currently in Spain there are three different types of artists: First, the rare ‘first class’ artists who can afford to live off art, they were active before the 1990s and the few who have had the chance to jump into the minor national art market. The second are the artists who come from a wealthy family that allows them to develop their interests and vices. The third kind, which includes the vast majority, is the emerging moonlighter artist, who works in numerous small jobs that allow him to pay rent and find enough time to produce art.

In Spain the art collector is an animal in danger of extinction. Someone please, send a humanitarian plane filled with aphrodisiacs and ‘mamporreros’. Jokes aside, it is actually a problem, but not because of the exiguous act of collecting, but because of the general disinterest for art. It’s a structural problem of education, less and less importance is given to the art subject in schools by reducing the teaching hours. A big mistake, since it’s the only subject that doesn’t indoctrinate, in which we are taught to question our environment, develop creativity and critical thinking skills that could be used in any situation during the rest of our lives. Until we resolve this basic issue, there won’t be a prosperous future for art in Spain, the projects I show at RMIT have a lot to do with this.

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Many artists say that having limitations of what they can do forces them to be creative. You use rubbish in your work as well, because of lack of funds. Do you find this a way to be creative? Can you talk about the evolution of the work in the Power to the People! Exhibition – did that evolve out of necessity in terms of where you sourced your material from?

For me difficulty is a challenge, creating a work is a process of overcoming obstacles, it’s like a puzzle. The bigger the challenge, the bigger the satisfaction if you manage to overcome it. If there are limits you know you need to work towards a solution, otherwise the goal is vague.

Long ago I did a work called STREET FIGHTER about how the need for survival encourages creativity.The use of materials in the case of Power to the People! it isn’t an issue of scarcity, using pity isn’t my style, it is a statement, you don’t need much to create something, That’s all. Starting from small to create something big, to relive obsolete art, revision and reflection.

Julio Falagán outside RMIT Gallery

Julio Falagán outside RMIT Gallery

Will this be your fist visit to Australia – and to Melbourne? Have you been researching the trip? As an artist, what do you hope to gain from the experience – and are there any flea markets or places that you really want to visit?

Yes, this will be my first time in Australia and I am really looking forward to get to know it. Before travelling to another country I like to immerse myself in its history, in order to understand what I see when I am there, but I don’t like to organize a route too much, I prefer to get carried along and be surprised. Something I do study is where and when the flea markets take place. I love visiting the flea markets of the cities I travel to, it’s where we really see how a society is really like, seeing what it discards, the real waste of the city, not what they want the city to be.

I’ve read information about Laverton Market, The Brunswick Market and others, but I want to follow the local advice to go to the best one, not the most tourist spots. I’m also very interested about urban art and Melbourne is a small paradise in that field. As I always travel with my skate, skate parks are another compulsory visit; perhaps Riverside Skate Park, Prahran and whatever I have time to see, skating in a new city is like a small conquest.

READ MORE “Art Exhibition Gives Power to the People”

What: Power to the People! Public talk and Meet the Artist. Free artwork and churros.

When: Thursday 24 September 4.30-5.30 pm

Official exhibition opening: 6-8 pm:

Exhibition dates: 25 September – 24 October.

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Please note: a coin donation is requested for photocopying – all money goes to the RMIT Scholarship Philanthropy Fund for disadvantaged students.

Invitation to RMIT Gallery’s new exhibition openings on 24 September

JulioFalagán_evite_webresPower to the People! (exhibition 25 September – 24 October)

You are invited to become part of the process of this new Spanish exhibition featuring artist Julio Falagán, photocopying and stamping the artist’s work in the gallery and taking home posters to start your own art collection with a coin donation. All funds go to the RMIT Scholarship Philanthropy Fund to support disadvantaged undergraduate students.  Be the first to print your very own artwork and chat to the artist over churros and Spanish wine on his Melbourne visit, at a pre-opening talk and preview from 4.30 pm on 24 September.

What: Power to the People! Exhibition opening

When: Thursday 24 September

Public forum: 4.30-5.30 pm: public forum with Julio Falagán, Dr Antonio Castillo, Ciro Márquez, followed by poster printing and churros and wine; then official opening 6-8 pm.

Offical opening address 6-8 pm: by Deputy head of mission at the Spanish Embassy Cesar Espada, who is in charge of cultural affairs at the embassy. Mr Espada is also a film director as well as a diplomat and his short film “Spot” premiered in April at the 2015 Spanish Film Festival at the Palace Electric in April.

Where: RMIT Gallery, 344 Swanston Street.

FREE – but bookings essential (maximum 40) Call RMIT Gallery on (03) 9925 1717.

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Performing Mobilities (exhibition 25 September – 24 October)

Curated by senior RMIT lecturer Mick Douglas, who performed Library Returns at the launch of the RMIT 700s Arts festival, this exhibition seeks to creatively and critically explore forms, forces, dynamics, meanings and consequences of performing mobility through a program of new experimental work.

The offical opening address will be presented by Maaike Bleeker, Professor and the Chair of Theatre Studies at the University of Utrecht The Netherlands.

Maaike Bleeker is President of Performance Studies international, Member of the International Advisory Board of Maska (Ljubljana) and of Inflexions: A Journal of Research-Creation (Montreal), and Member of the Editorial Board (Humanities) of the Amsterdam University Press. Author of Visuality in the Theatre, (Palgrave, 2008), her recent research argues for the potential of theatre and theatricality as a ‘critical vision machine’ providing us with critical tools for analysis of media culture, politics, spectatorship, censorship and the arts.

What: Performing Mobilities exhibition opening

When: Thursday 24 September

Time: Official opening 6-8 pm.

Where: RMIT Gallery 344 Swanston Street.

RMIT Gallery is getting ready to open its doors again!

One of the geometric windows designed by Ashton Raggatt McDougall - usually covered up to create a functional exhibition space.

One of the geometric windows designed by Ashton Raggatt McDougall – usually covered up to create a functional exhibition space.

What’s behind the green door? RMIT Gallery is ready to fling open the heavy wooden portal on Swanston Street that has been closed since our previous exhibitions ended on 30 May.

RMIT Gallery will reopen to audiences on 25 September after an upgrade to its climate control systems. The gallery will feature two exhibitions: “Power to the People!” with work by Spanish artist Julio Falagán and “Performing Mobilities”, curated by Dr Mick Douglas, a Senior Lecturer at the School of Architecture & Design at RMIT.

Soon to open again - the front of RMIT Gallery on 344 Swanston Street.

Soon to open again – the front of RMIT Gallery on 344 Swanston Street.

We are delighted to announce that right on schedule, the RMIT Gallery building works have been completed and the final stages are being undertaken under the watchful eye of RMIT Gallery’s Registrar Peter Wilson.

While the much needed refurbishment to get the air quality consistent and to museum standard is of course invisible, visitors will note new glass doors in two of the gallery spaces. These will ensure that the temperature stays consistent within and we get the best quality environment for the artworks.

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All staff will move back in to RMIT Gallery at 344 Swanston Street on Monday 7 September as we install the upcoming exhibitions, under the guidance of Director and Chief Curator Suzanne Davies and with support of Exhibition Coordinator Helen Rayment .

Exhibition Coordinator Helen Rayment and Registrar Peter Wilson

Exhibition Coordinator Helen Rayment and Registrar Peter Wilson discuss installation of the next exhibitions.

Meanwhile, it has been intriguing seeing exhibition spaces ‘uncovered’, revealing a palimpsest of architectural and heritage overlays from the magnificent building’s long history. These walls will be again covered to provide hanging space for artworks and a versatile exhibition space.

RMIT Gallery's main exhibition space, with arched windows revealed during building works.

RMIT Gallery’s main exhibition space, with arched windows revealed during building works.

While the remodelling of the Storey Hall building on 344 Swanston Street preserved the original, heritage-protected building, the architectural design of the refurbished section of the building features geometric Penrose tiles, which are arranged to form pentagons.

Usually a view to nowhere - the temporarily uncovered window into RMIT Gallery from Rodda Lane.

Usually a view to nowhere – the temporarily uncovered window into RMIT Gallery from Rodda Lane.

The work was completed in 1995 to the design of Ashton Raggatt McDougall. The refurbished section is also externally adorned with Penrose tiles and is also styled with ruffles, keys and suspender belts to represent the Suffragettes, who used the building as a meeting hall.

Moving & Storing the RMIT Art Collection

packed art works
RMIT Gallery is in transition! Building work commences next week as we begin essential work, including restoration of the airconditioner, and so staff have had to pack up and relocate to another RMIT University building until September 2015.
painting on trolley
That leaves works from the RMIT Art Collection not currently displayed around the campuses. These need to be carefully packed up and moved, itemised, logged and accounted for. It’s a far bigger job than staff wrapping their keyboards in plastic and ensuring their paperwork is placed in moving boxes.
empty storage
As well as its regular programming of exhibitions and events, RMIT Gallery also has responsibility for the RMIT Art Collection, which includes storage. RMIT Gallery Director Suzanne Davies is chair of the RMIT Art Committee, and RMIT Collections Coordinator Jon Buckingham and RMIT Gallery Registrar Peter Wilson have the day to day responsibility for looking after the collection. Mr Buckingham also oversees the digitisation of the entire collection as part of the large scale RMIT Art Collection Online project. 
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Here Mr Buckingham carefully wraps up William Dargie’s ‘Portrait of Sir John Storey’ (1952, oil on canvas) as it prepares for a ‘holiday’ in safe storage. See you in September, Sir Storey.
gallery 6 packed
A large part of the Art Collection is being stored at the RMIT Bundoora campus, but more space is needed, and as a city based university, space is at a premium. This is the exhibition space known as Gallery 6, which looks a little different from its recent incarnation when it held Terry Burrows exhibition Backs of Banaras. Here is Terry giving an artist talk (below) – an interesting contrast to the photo (above) where paintings are being wrapped for storage.
backs of banaras talk
With space is issue around the university, and works needing secure and climate controlled storage – the solution is to store extra artworks in external purpose built facilities.
IAS carrying work
The last two days of our move from RMIT Gallery’s premises at Storey Hall, 344 Swanston Street was overseen by International Art Services.
maria IAS
IAS Storage Registrar Maria-Luisa said the artworks would be going to an IAS climate controlled storeroom.  “We’ve been listing, coding and packing around 150 two dimensional works,” she said. “The artwork will be stored on purpose built, elevated 2D racks in humidity and climate controlled rooms which are all dust proof.”
The move back will be equally time intensive, all the more so because it will come at a time when RMIT Gallery prepares to install its next exhibitions to celebrate the reopening of the building in September. Stay tuned!
Next exhibitions – September – October 2015

Power to the People!  18 September – 10 October

Spanish artist Julio Falagán’s work questions power and the established status quo through humour and irony, inviting audiences to become art collectors by taking home posters of the five original works made through the manipulation of popular prints bought in flea markets.

Artist statement:

“My work deals with the questioning of power and the established status quo through humour and irony. With a justified lack of respect for what or who doesnʼt deserve it, dignifying the trivial and obsolete as a starting point to reflect on social fracture, calling into question any dogmas.
 
A plea in favour of the small, the overlooked, the discarded, calling out the grandiloquences and the absolute truths.”

Performing Mobilities18 September – 24 October

Lucy Bleach, video still from 46a Middle Rd, part of the “Remote Viewing” project, shot by pigeon-mounted micro-camera, HD video, 2012-2015.

Lucy Bleach, video still from 46a Middle Rd, part of the “Remote Viewing” project, shot by pigeon-mounted micro-camera, HD video, 2012-2015.

Traces of creative journeys form expositions that explore and reimagine movement, place and event with local relevance and global resonance. explores how contemporary life in Australia, the world’s largest island continent, is framed by borders whilst constantly being reconstructed through dynamic processes of mobility.

This exhibition of new work curated by Mick Douglas seeks to creatively and critically explore forms, forces, dynamics, meanings and consequences of performing mobility through a program of new experimental work. This dynamic show will include mobile performances that depart from and return to RMIT Gallery.