Rising: Euphoria

Public buildings such as Municipal Town Halls are often considered to be musty, stuffy and full of jaded angry citizens which is why it is always so refreshing to see a space such as the Melbourne Town Hall re-imagined to become temporary host to compelling installations such as Euphoria.

A first glance, the installation appears like so much other unfathomable digital art; photo montages with weird poetry and looping Enya-style music. Usually, this style of work in an art gallery would see 80% of people walk in and then walk out again, shaking their heads at more inaccessible art.

Euphoria has the opposite effect. Perhaps because of its location, the expansive space, the geometry of the set up and more importantly the actual compelling orchestration of visual and aural jigsaw pieces over 90 minutes, Euphoria lifts people up. It connects, invites and embodies accessibility. The viewer is placed in the centre of a huge Town Hall surrounded by 24 screens and 100 digital singers from the Brooklyn Youth Chorus. Each singer has their own very-human mannerisms, fidgeting, sighing and singing. The viewer is in the centre feeling observed. Add to this five large screens flanking the viewing area with well-known drummers (Terri Lyne Carrington, Peter Erskine, and Grammy Award-winning drummer and composer Antonio Sánchez) cleverly syncopating drum beats with the central screen’s “movie”, and the Town Hall positively heaves.

To call it a movie is a bit of a euphemism. If there is a plot, I can’t really follow it, but as a statement I see it very clearly – we live in a crazy consumerist capitalist world, check it out!

Straight from the Park Armory in New York, Berlin-based master artist and filmmaker Julian Rosefeldt has collaborated with the likes of Cate Blanchett who inhabits the character of a supermarket prowling tiger to create this modern masterpiece. The star-studded list of performers includes a wide spectrum of thinkers, writers and musicians such as Snoop Dogg, Warren Buffett, Ayn Rand, Angela Davis, Mark Fisher and Giancarlo Esposito (Breaking Bad).

Euphoria is open until Sunday 18th June, but make sure you book tickets ahead. Lines are known to be snaking way up Collins St.

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