The Streets of Melbourne

“Post No Bills” is a small exhibition of posters from the City of Melbourne Art & Heritage Collection at Melbourne City Hall. It features two large art noueveau posters for electricity, posters for WWII food appeals, a poster from a WWII brothel and an appeal to “Kill that Rat”. It was mostly a history exhibition but did have a slideshow of contemporary posters. And it completely ignored the paste-up street-art posters.

“The Streets of Melbourne” was a three-day program of street performances mostly around Fed Square. I saw a bit of Circus Trick Tease and other acts, the usual street circus acts, with a big build up to a rather ordinary acrobatics.

“The Streets of Melbourne” had a small program of public art installations. Sugar Art by Pip & Pop (Nicole Andrijevic and Tanya Schultz) was typical of many installations that I have seen in the last year creating a scatter of miniature island worlds, this time in sugar candy and plastic toys. “IMAG_NE” by Emma Anna was proving popular with people taking snapshots of friends sitting in the “I” position. (I have previously reviewed her “Dear Indigo exhibition at BSG in 2008.)

This official festival was ignoring the other art and entertainment on the streets of Melbourne the buskers, the street artists and the protesters. The Anonymous protest against Scientology’s tax-exempt status was certainly entertaining and visually appealing. What they lacked in numbers the masked Anonymous protesters made up for in style. Guy Fawkes masks copied from Alan Moore’s “V for Vendetta” graphic novel and Goth clothing were the de rigueur. A protester carried portable amplifiers playing music. It is important to be more entertaining and better dressed than the cult that you are opposing.

Anonymous Anti-Scientology Protest Flinders St. 10/1/09

Anonymous Anti-Scientology Protest Flinders St. 10/1/09

It was also the first protest that I have ever seen that provided a 7-minute, free DVD to explain what their position. I happily signed their petition and watched them proceed on their merry way. No cult/religion/business deserves tax-exempt status just because they have some unprovable beliefs and a militant membership.

About Mark Holsworth

Writer, independent researcher and artist, Mark Holsworth is the author of the book Sculptures of Melbourne. View all posts by Mark Holsworth

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