Lodovica Guarnieri and Lorenzo Gerbi
Nabati: a lap of the realties of present-day Melbourne
Video-walks commencing and ending at KINGS Artist-Run.
To access: https://vimeo.com/channels/1163601
Nabati* is a video-walk through the City of Melbourne that uncovers some of the new powers defining its current identity. While touristic tours present Melbourne as a development of its gold and colonial past, Nabati focuses on the invisible meta-architectures and their role in shaping the city today. The Emirates sponsorship of the Flemington Racecourse, a symbol of Melbourne and Australia’s colonial legacy, creates the context for the tours to further expose the ongoing dialogue with Arab elements which underlies Australian national sovereignty. By acknowledging horse racing as a cultural artifact intimately built over the use of Arab elements, as in the case of thoroughbreds, Nabati further dissects the present-day relationship between Australia and United Arab Emirates in the four areas of sport, land, defence and borders.
In a patchwork of apparently mismatching elements, the tours look at national sovereignty as a process and not as a fact, eventually questioning the parameters that regulate the acceptance or rejection of what is depicted as foreign. The tours do not take place at the Flemington Racecourse, but are structured around different buildings in the City of Melbourne. Although mimicking the structure of touristic tours, the journey of Nabati aims to spotlight the authorities and meta-architectures held beyond the faceless facades of those buildings, eventually questioning the iconology and recognisability of modern global powers.
* When the Arabs first began to interact with other cultures and nationalities, certain words and linguistic traits were assimilated into classical Arabic, to create a new version of it. The people who spoke this style of Arabic, embellished with foreign vocabulary were said to speak Nabati, which in this sense, meant foreign.
Accessing the video-walks: https://vimeo.com/channels/1163601
The videos for the walk will be available from December 15, 2016.
Download the four video onto a smartphone in the offline mode using the Vimeo App prior to commencing the walk to ensure high quality streaming whilst participating in the work. As the work begins in KINGS Artist-Run the gallery wifi can be used for this.
Nabati is a part of the KINGS Artist-Run 2016 project ‘Starting Point’ coordinated by Alice Mathieu. Alongside Guarnieri and Lorenzo Gerbi (Ita/NL), participating artists include Nathan Gray, and Therese Keogh and Jacqui Shelton.
This project is supported by the City of Melbourne 2016 Arts Grants Program.
Image Credits: Video still, Nabati: a lap of the realties of present-day Melbourne, trailer, Lodovica Guarnieri and Lorenzo Gerbi