By Aleksandra Bliszczyk
A collective of Victorian artists will takeover and transform the Kyneton Museum into an immersive performance space this month, restrictions permitting.
For four weekends in June, Museum Undone will see the existing collection recurated to tell the story Kyneton’s history in a new way.
From 7pm to 8.30pm each weekend night, artists will perform across the space – indoor and outdoor.
Taungurung artist Maddi Moser’s projections will cover the walls and ceilings and facade of the building, and sound artist Kirri Buchler’s soundscapes will play in different parts of the museum.
Audiences will move through the many rooms in their own time, interacting with the visual and sensory art physically and inwardly, while prompted to consider the impact of history on places and people.
Goldie-based dancer and choreographer Alexandra Harrison is one of the 10 artists involved.
“Because the audience is moving through and moving around difference spaces it can be quite intimate,” she said.
“There’ll be multiple acts happening at any one time that the audience will circle through.”
Museum Undone puts a sharp filter on life, history, politics and landscape in the Macedon Ranges.
“We’ve been talking about the museum as an extraordinary site,” Harrison said.
“There’s a printing press, an old kitchen, a weird laundry, a shed full of old carriages – we’ve gone there and explored that space, we’ve had chats with Indigenous elders, we’ve done all this collectively, and then we’ve all been drawn to particular spaces, so we’ve taken our ideas to that space and just been working in our own worlds.”
For Harrison, that world has been the bush on her 70 acre property, where she and her family moved to four years ago.
“As you slowly start to understand a place, or as it unfolds itself to you, it starts to spark ideas,” she said.
“In lockdown, I ended up going, ‘who’s my dance partner? It has to be the bush’.”
Ms Harrison said lockdown gave her a fresh appreciation for the artistic community in the Macedon Ranges and a heightened sense of connection and grounding, which she would infuse into Museum Undone.
“All this land has that incredible story of birth and life and death moving through it over time,” she said, referencing Archie Roach’s song ‘A Child Was Born Here’.
“Politically there’s stories that want to be told, and one story we’re not very good at telling in Australia is the story of Indigenous sovereignty, and in this project, all of us are navigating that [but] we’re all a part of that story, if we engage with it.”
Harrison said she hoped audiences would leave the performance and reflect on their relationships with their landscape and with one another.
“I would hope it gives [the audience] a space to consider their own relationship to this place and what it means, and maybe to see new relationships both in international spaces and the literal space around them,” she said.
“I’m really excited to make work for this place, from this place and of it.”
Ticket prices are adults $25, seniors/concessions $15, children $10. People can purchase tickets at mrsc.vic.gov.au/museum. Group bookings are available by calling the box office on 1300 888 802.