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Play in Melbourne City

Abstract

Play in Melbourne City outlines a series of playful incursions in Melbourne, Australia’s central city that hopes to act as a reminder of the potential power and influence that individual citizens have in disrupting, creating and recovering public space.
This is a practice-based exploration that uses Melbourne city as its site. Through a series of playful guerrilla theatre style incursions, the artist creates and embodies fictional characters that spontaneously appear throughout the city. Notions of the carnivalesque are harnessed through the use of masks, costumes and puppetry. Each character investigates and responds to a specific issue of spatial politics within the city, with the works importantly sitting outside of the scheduled template of gallery exhibitions and festivals.
For the conceptual framework, the artist draws on Henri Lefebvre’s ideas of the production of space and Chantal Mouffe’s ‘agonistic’ model of public space.

Published:
Pages:353 to 367
Section: RMIT University: Master of Arts (Art in Public Space)
How to Cite
Griffith, S. (2020) “Play in Melbourne City”, The Journal of Public Space, 5(4), pp. 353-367. doi: https://doi.org/10.32891/jps.v5i4.1420.

Author Biography

RMIT University
Australia Australia

Zan Griffith is a Melbourne based artist who describes her practice as a rogue, lone, carnivalesque protest, with masks and puppetry integral elements in her work. She has recently completed a Master of Arts (Art in Public Space) at RMIT and has a background in education, community work and the visual arts. Her interest in puppetry has led her to puppetry intensives with both Spare Parts in Perth and Humber Puppetry in Toronto Canada. She has also completed Giovanni Fusetti's Bouffon intensive in Melbourne. Zan Griffith has exhibited in group shows with local Melbourne galleries like The Wandering Room, Blindside, George Paton and Off the Kerb and participated in the Melbourne Fringe and Melbourne Puppetry Festival. Her primary focus however is on guerrilla theatre style performances in public space. These performances have occurred predominantly in the Melbourne CBD.

References

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Mouffe, Chantal. (2007). “Artistic Activism and Agonistic Spaces,” in: Art & Research: A Journal of Ideas, Contexts, and Methods, 1/2, Summer 2007.

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Open Access Journal
ISSN 2206-9658