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Rediscovering the Docks

29 Oct 2015

Rediscovering the Docks Image

By Jack Hayes

In the 90s Docklands was seen as an abandoned industrial wasteland, devoid of culture and identity: that was until the rise of Melbourne’s underground rave scene.

A new exhibition titled, The Docks, delves into the contemporary history of alternative cultural activities held in the sheds at the Victoria Docks.

At a time when the once-thriving working docks were seen as a barren haunt, a series of cultural events were lighting up that forgotten end of the city: electronic music, circus schools, women’s warehouse parties, Queer stage spectaculars and dirt bike competitions were all part of this new scene.

The interactive exhibition is officially launched in conjunction with Melbourne Music Week on Friday, November 13.

The following day will host the Melbourne Shuffle-athon, where participants are taught the iconic dance movement, which was born from the Melbourne music scene of the 80s and 90s.  The “shuffle” is a full body masterpiece that uses dance as art.

Saturday will also feature the Style Circle: Fashion at The Docks – celebrating fashion in the 90s and encouraging attendees to dust off their fishnet singlets, big, big pants and fluffy anything.

The final segment will be The Dock’s Memory Walk – a journey around Docklands to rehash the electronic music, fashion, dance, drugs, graffiti art and camaraderie that shaped the notorious raves and cultural events held in the former working sheds.

In a pre-digital age, these events were advertised through word-of-mouth and posters, and were the voice of their generation – a fusion of class, gender, music and identity.

DJs, VJs, promoters, organisers and ravers join for a nostalgic look at our city’s more recent, and yet sometimes hazy, past.

Co-presented by Melbourne Raves, Electronic Music Alliance Australia and Monash Art Design and Architecture, the exhibition shines an unheralded light on an often dark piece of Melbourne history.

 

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