69 Capel Street, West Melbourne VIC 3003

Open 12pm-5pm, Thursday - Sunday

Disability Access: KINGS Artist-Run is a wheelchair accessible venue. Unfortunately, there is no wheelchair accessible toilet. Please contact the gallery with any access requirements and we will endeavour to support your visit.

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Kings Artist-Run provides a location for contemporary art practice, supporting distinctive experimental projects by artists at all stages of their careers.
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KINGS Artist-Run acknowledges the Wurundjeri and Boonwurrung people of the Kulin Nation as the Traditional Custodians of the land on which we operate.

We offer our respect to Elders both past and present and extend this offer to all Australian First Nations people.

Nabati: a lap of the realties of present-day Melbourne

Lodovica Guarnieri
Lorenzo Gerbi
Curated by Alice Mathieu

15 December 2016–31 January 2017

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:

Nabati Map

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:

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


See all projects by:

  • Lodovica Guarnieri is a researcher, curator and multidisciplinary designer based in Eindhoven, NL. In her interdisciplinary practice she questions the physical and ideological architectures that surround us and define invisible territories and borders in the public realm. Guarnieri obtained a Master of Social Design at Design Academy Eindhoven in 2014, and is currently working as a researcher and assistant curator at Van Abbemuseum in Eindhoven, where she is developing research about the entanglements between architecture, law and feminism and writing a text for the next Museum publication that will be issued in May 2017. She also works as part of Fictional Collective, an international design collective focusing on design research, exhibitions and publications. –
  • Lorenzo Gerbi is a freelance designer, art director and cultural producer based in Eindhoven (NL). Since April 2015, he has managed the internal design studio and the education activities of Baltan Laboratories, a collaborative platform for future thinking that looks at society through the lenses of art, science, design and technology. Besides Baltan Laboratories, he works as freelance information designer, freelance cultural producer for film festivals (Turin, IT / Rio de Janeiro, BR), contributor for Wired Magazine Italy and external mentor at Fontys ICT (Eindhoven) and Avans Communication and Multimedia Design (Den Bosch).