The New Art Loop

Have you been stopped in your tracks by Melbourne’s latest public art installation yet?

Challenging the social construct of the daily commute and the distinction between cultural and commercial, the Melbourne Central Art Loop offers patrons an immersive art experience in an exhibition space unlike any other.

Art Loop is a new permanent gallery space featuring 15 LCD screens and five projector portals suspended throughout Melbourne Central’s redeveloped lower ground precinct. Projecting simultaneously and continuously, the exhibitions include artworks by internationally renowned, emerging and established Australian artists.

The inaugural exhibition features a collection of progressive video works by more than 30 Australian artists. Curated by MARS Gallery director Andy Dinan, the selected works vary in subject matter and type and include animation, live-action and three-dimensional video. Some are set to music, while others are silent or feature voice-overs.

The screens are suspended above a wide flight of stairs, inviting use of the path as both a walkway and auditorium-style seating. The success of this design during peak hour is yet to be determined, however it may serve to pique one’s curiosity and enhance the chances of looking up.

With more than 51 million people visiting and travelling through Melbourne Central every year, the gallery space forms an unprecedented platform for Australian artists to connect with a diverse and global audience and contribute to an ongoing cultural exchange.

“It’s rare in Australia for video art to come to life on such a large scale and we’re extremely proud to be partnering with Melbourne Central to pioneer this experimental and global art form in our city,” Ms Dinan said.

Art Loop exhibitions will rotate regularly and feature collaborations with some of Melbourne’s leading artist-run spaces. Through an annual award, one participating Art Loop artist will be selected to receive tickets to the largest international festival for video art, LOOP Barcelona.

The permanent exhibition space is billed as Australia’s largest video installation outside of an institution and forms part of a $5 million redesign by Melbourne-based architects Kennedy Nolan. It aims to enhance public interaction with the space and acts as a conduit for the extension of our vibrant arts and culture scene from the city’s laneways into the retail environment.

Offering everyday access to new and inspiring artworks for commuters, tourists and CBD residents alike is a feat to be commended. Whether you stop for a fleeting glance on your way home from work or bring your own cushion to settle in for a session, Art Loop is definitely worth a look.

Melbourne Central Art Loop is free to all visitors and is located along the laneway of the Lower Ground precinct. Video works are screened continuously during centre opening hours. The inaugural exhibition will run until July 2016. For more information visit www.melbournecentral.com.au/artloop

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