Immerse yourself in a vibrant and inclusive event that will captivate Melbourne + Kyneton from 2 September till 28 October 2023.
Modelling peace-building architecture and infrastructure, the Collective Polyphony Festival is a ground-breaking multi-space event that fosters and nurtures emerging and established artist collectives. It is founded upon the central idea of artists supporting artists.
This extraordinary gathering brings together 10 local and international, emerging and established artist collectives across 7 exhibition spaces.
In-Kind Collective <> Stockroom (Kyneton, VIC)
2 September – 1 October
ShrewD Collective <> Gertrude Glasshouse (Collingwood)
LAST Collective <> Mary Cherry (Collingwood)
8 September – 7 October
The Chinese Museum Arts Collective <> Testing Grounds (CBD)
9 September – 30 September
Seaweed Appreciation Society international
Collective Agitation +
London Alternative Photography Collective
<> BLINDSIDE (CBD)
13 September – 7 October
Saluhan Collective <> SEVENTH Gallery (Richmond)
21 September – 13 October
Pitcha Makin Fellas <> Daine Singer (Brunswick)
23 September – 28 October
Gudskul: ruangrupa, Serrum and Grafis Huru Hara collectives
<> Testing Grounds (CBD)
30 September (1-day event)
For Collective Polyphony Festival exhibitions, each collective is encouraged to work within their unique themes and agendas to develop new work or show existing projects. Just as in music, where polyphony weaves together distinct melodies to create a harmonious whole, Collective Polyphony Festival embraces a narrative and artistic approach that welcomes multiple perspectives, voices, and ideas. At a time when many communities are socially and politically fragmented, Collective Polyphony Festival seeks to reimagine the world through a multifaceted but united lens.
“As Gudskul is committed to principles, mechanisms, and the 'lumbung' value, we are intrigued by collective practices within Australian contexts and networks. We are eager to explore avenues of regeneration, not only of ideas but also of individuals, by disseminating our methods and modules for others to adopt, refine, and expand upon. Our ethos of generosity drives us to openly share our wealth of knowledge and resources.”
“Pitcha Makin Fellas are all different people with different stories to tell.
We break down the generalisations about Blackfellas. We are learning about our past as we go. We’re making for a better future for all of us now."
"Saluhan are very honoured to take part in Collective Polyphony, which we believe will create a unique opportunity for dialogue and exchange between artist collectives and community living and working in both Metropolitan Melbourne and across regional Victoria. We have a great admiration for the artistic and curatorial work of Nina Sanadze and look forward to fully participating in this project."
“For us, the word ‘polyphony’ evokes a sense of discordant harmony – it allows for and distinguishes individual contributions (voices), which contribute to a harmonised whole. This resonates deeply with the ethos of the LAST Collective and the space – and support – we give one another.“
"There is a general assumption that a collective of people can function as a well oiled machine, bound by a predictable system of production. And while economic benefit is not associated with collectivity the economy of ‘productive actions’ is omnipresent, pressing on the backbone of all members. The power of a collective is its curiosity towards passion projects, and ultimately, passion fluctuates. We move through life with other workloads, personal life, relationships, and things happen. That is the beauty of collectivity, unlearning rigid structures and critically thinking about how to engage with our community."
"We have been working with Collective Agitation to share research, ideas and dialogues. As two collective both working with alternative and analogue photographic processes on opposite sides of the world we have many likenesses as well as differences. Locales and climates have been compared and discussed, soils and plants, water sources and histories; all underlie the work we make and the research we navigate through.”
"The concept of a collective subverts the idea of the individual artist slaving away in the studio on their own. It recognises and reinforces that the artist is an integral part of a community. The exchange between artists provides an essential support network that sustains creative practice.”
"Parakind and In-kind commoning and communing are a convergence of shared discontent, but also a joyful yearning for more than market relations. This helps us to be better comrades in the messy makings of communal life, pushing and pulling in directions that trouble the individual-collective. We love that we can call a help-line and someone will pick up.”
"We would suggest that the notion of collectives represent a tension for many people who are Chinese. Gross forces are expressed by heavy hands: in the realm of the family, looked for first in parental faces. Very often, other, further proscriptions follow, born out of some dimly inherited faith in collectivising structures — there may well be damages, here. Yet we think tension is creative. And for many Chinese Australians, under the influence of our homeplace, Melbourne-Naarm, the will to the perfected body, which is also the will to an idea and a cause, can be drawn within the glow of a dreamed of ethical ground of being. The collectives that will redeem us unite energies without annihilation of the individual elements. This is an ideal that, in our fractious concrete existence, we must run towards."