The music legend rumoured to be Banksy is behind these free new Melbourne exhibitions

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The music legend rumoured to be Banksy is behind these free new Melbourne exhibitions

Words by Staff Writer

Robert del Naja - the Massive Attack star widely rumoured to be Banksy - is part of two major new free exhibitions coming to Melbourne for Now or Never.

Robert del Naja is a major part of London-based art practice United Visual Arts (UVA), who will blanket the Royal Exhibition Building’s interior with audio-visual displays for Now or Never this year.

UVA will also produce a galactical sonic interpretation titled Silent Symphony at Melbourne Town Hall, with sound design led by the adventurous musician and composer, Ben Frost.

UVA’s other instalment, Present Shock II, is set to confront a world full of ‘post-truths’ as it collapses real-time information outside of Melbourne Town Hall.

Present Shock II

  • United Visual Artists
  • Thurs 22 Aug — Sun 1st Sept | 24hrs
  • Melbourne Town Hall – Forecourt

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When we’re confronted with a constant cacophony of data on a daily basis, how do we decipher what’s true? And why does it matter? In a glass box outside the Melbourne Town Hall, a barrage of statistical clocks and live news feeds bombard us with real-time information about the world – from life-changing global events to the banal trivia of daily existence. The sheer volume is beyond cognition. And while this information is presented as fact, there is no way of verifying its accuracy.

Present Shock II, an installation by London-based art and technology practice UVA (United Visual Artists) in collaboration with Massive Attack’s Robert Del Naja, makes the feeling of information overload palpable, disrupting our sense of time and cohesion. A mutually agreed-upon version of the truth collapses, opening the door to ‘post-truth’ and ‘alternative facts’.

In the face of relentless information streams, Present Shock II highlights the difficulty of distinguishing meaningful information from noise. The installation encourages us to delve beyond the surface and scrutinize the authenticity of the information that shapes our understanding of the world.

Silent Symphony

  • United Visual Artists
  • Thurs 22 Aug | 7pm – 10pm
  • Fri 23 Aug — Sat 24 Aug | 12pm – 10pm
  • Sun 25 Aug | 12pm – 8pm
  • Melbourne Town Hall – Main Hall

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Ancient philosophers believed the universe produced an inaudible kind of music: musica universalis. Hypnotic, trancelike and somewhat menacing, Silent Symphony embodies a sonic and visual interpretation of these celestial patterns.

Eight kinetic sculptures cast rotating planes of light and sound throughout a darkened room, oscillating between order and chaos. Drawing from the movements and correlations of astral objects, these invisible energetic forces are translated into a dynamic performance that explores their effect on our sense of harmony.

A constantly evolving work that never repeats, observe this durational piece while seated above its circular formation. Pass through or stay for as long or as little time as needed.

Runs consecutively for 30 mins. Final show commences 9:30pm (Thu/Fri/Sat) and 7:30pm (Sun). For the first hour on Sun 25 Aug, Silent Symphony will be reconfigured with sound levels and lighting to suit a low sensory session. 

Find out more about Present Shock II here and about Silent Symphony here.