Melbourne Art Fair Vernissage to be celebration of more than 500 living artists.

featuring performance art for the first time

Art Press Release from Australia. Published by anonymous on Thursday 31 July 2014.

Melbourne, Australia: Performance art will play a major role in the Melbourne Art Fair for the first time in 2014, with several live artist performances at the opening night Vernissage event along with site-specific interventions throughout the Fair and a new dedicated space to showcase performance art.

The live performance art will commence at the official opening celebration for the Fair, the Melbourne Art Fair Vernissage event, presented on the evening of Wednesday 13 August. The Vernissage has also been hailed as a celebration of living artists with 500 artists expected to attend to mingle with guests at the first look at more than 75 galleries presented within Carlton’s Royal Exhibition Building.

Vernissage guests will be treated to live performance art by artist and practicing Raelian Luke Roberts, dressed as his most famous alter ego Pope Alice (pictured). Represented by Anna Pappas Gallery, Pope Alice will roam the Fair interacting and blessing guests. Also at the Fair, Noula Diamantopoulos, represented by Artereal Gallery, will engage visitors in short written dialogues carried out in complete silence.

Barry Keldoulis, Director, Melbourne Art Fair, commented: “When the ‘art object’ is human, the response elicited is emotional and visceral, and this year the Fair welcomes performative works blurring the boundary between artist and audience, encounters swinging between stylish and absurd, intimate and political.”

Other performative elements at the Fair include a new collaboration between Michael Zavros, Rolls-Royce Motor Cars and Auckland-based gallery Starkwhite, involving a Rolls-Royce Wraith, chocolate coined money and Australia’s superstar models, the Stenmark Twins.

In another first for 2014, the Fair features a new exhibition sector called MAF Edge, curated by Jacqueline Doughty, Senior Curator at Gertrude Contemporary. Social Capital spreads throughout the Royal Exhibition Building drawing visitors into unexpected encounters and activities. MAF Edge performance art includes work by Peter Burke and Adele Varcoe who will offer a range of ‘art dates’ to visitors, guiding people on idiosyncratic tours of the Fair. MAF Edge will also include a surprise performance by Anastasia Klose.

Throughout Melbourne Art Week, commuters on Melbourne’s Yarra Trams can expect to encounter performance artists including Minna Gilligan,who will present brief musical performances, or disguised artists who will seek to engage and interact with commuters.

More than 500 artists, leading gallerists from around Australia, art collectors, leading industry figures and international guests are expected to attend. Artists attending include: Destiny Deacon; Patricia Piccinini; Fiona Lowry; Pat Brasington; Nike Savvas; Rick Amor; Imants Tillers; Reko Rennie; Cressida Campbell; Emily Floyd; Mikala Dwyer; Daniel Boyd; Chris O’Doherty (a.k.a Reg Mombassa); Michael Zavros; Guan Wei; Philip Wolfhagen; Julia deVille; Sam Leach; and Mirka Mora.

The Melbourne Art Fair Vernissage runs from 6pm until 10pm, Wednesday 13 August 2014 at the Royal Exhibition Building, Carlton.