In Response… now exhibited online

Keith Gallasch, Virginia Baxter

The 2019 exhibition In Response: Dialogues with RealTime is now online, featuring performances, interviews and documentation from the exhibition in a superbly produced digital record that enriches the archives of RealTime, Martin del Amo, Branch Nebula (Lee Wilson, Mirabelle Wouters) and Vicki Van Hout, providing an invaluable resource for artists, scholars and the public.

The exhibition, including four performative events, was held in UNSW Library’s Exhibition Space from 25 February-25 April 2019 to mark the closure of RealTime and to celebrate the national magazine’s “crucial role in documenting and providing critical commentary on work in dance, performance, sound, music, film, digital media and visual art that carved out new terrain in those fields” (Introduction, Erin Brannigan, co-curator).

In Response… intensively addressed the relationship between RealTime and a group of artists whose work had been covered by the magazine over many years. With installations created by the artists, performances and, available on iPad for exhibition visitors, performances on video and new artist interviews conducted by Erin Brannigan, the outcome constitutes a deepening of the archives of each of the participants.

The online version of the exhibition captures this layering of the exhibition experience. With the briefest of scrolling, a single page opens up a wealth of performance, talk and documentation. UNSW Library Special Collections and Exhibitions curator Jackson Mann, who co-curated the exhibition with Erin Brannigan along with the artists and RealTime, has produced a highly organic online experience, easily accessible and a delight to explore.


Vicki Van Hout, Henrietta Baird, talk/performance for In Response: Dialogues with RealTime, UNSW Library, photo Jackson Mann

The exhibition catalogue features essays by John Baylis (Branch Nebula), Lizzie Thompson (Vicki Van Hout), Amanda Card (Martin del Amo) and our own reflections on the reviewing experience. As well, an extensive Audio-visual Collection, held by UNSW Library, provides even more interviews and recorded performances.

You’ll also find links to RealTime’s own responses to the exhibition and the transcripts of the speeches that launched the 130 print editions of RealTime 1994-2015. These are now available on the National Library of Australia’s TROVE.

For us at RealTime, the exhibition and its online archive have resulted in a welcome expansion and enriching of the magazine’s archive and the furthering of its legacy, for which we are deeply grateful. Our thanks go to Erin Brannigan and Jackson Mann, the participating artists, the School of English, Media and Performing Arts and, for their considerable support, UNSW Library and University Librarian Martin Borchert.

We’ve been inspired by the experience, as Erin puts it in her introduction to the exhibition, of “contribut[ing] to innovations at the interface between performance, the archive and the gallery.” We felt right at home with such exhilaratingly productive hybridity.

UNSW Library, In Response: Dialogues with RealTime, Online Exhibition; In Response: Dialogues with RealTime, Exhibition, UNSW Library Exhibitions Space, UNSW, Sydney, 25 Feb-25 April

Top image: Mirabelle Wouters, Lee Wilson (Branch Nebula), In Response: Dialogues with RealTime, UNSW Library, photo Jackson Mann

27 August 2020