City Songs (2017)


The City Songs Exhibition at the City Gallery (10 February to 19 April 2017) is a result of a City of Melbourne arts residency in which writer Christos Tsiolkas and photographer Zoe Ali were commissioned to document, through text and photography, ‘Block XI’, or the city block originally bounded by Swanston, Russell, Bourke and Collins streets. The Exhibition is a result of the collaboration that started its life as the Block XI project involving Professor Andrew May and students from the Melbourne History Workshop, who developed the historical context that informed the artists’ work and contributed to the catalogue essay. Noting the 175th anniversary of Melbourne’s incorporation in 1842, the City Songs Exhibition explores the ways in which the city is made socially and imaginatively:

As artists and historians we encounter objects, people and institutions in the library and the archive, in the city streets, and in the stories people tell—and from these fragments we build a history of place.