Living Elvis art exhibition

By: Elvis Australia
Source: Helen Walpole - RMIT Gallery
August 17, 2007

The creative impact of Elvis Presley resonates in Living Elvis a major exhibition of contemporary art at RMIT Gallery Melbourne.

Exhibition: Fri 17th Aug to Sat 20th Oct, 2007. RMIT Gallery, Storey Hall, 344 Swanston Street, Melbourne.

The Living Elvis exhibition explores the legacy of The King in visual culture. Curators Suzanne Davies and Peter Barnes have brought together diverse work by artists from Australia, Germany, Cyprus, England and China. New work has also been created specifically for this exhibition, exploring the effect of Elvis artistic output, iconic image and creative processes on visual culture some five decades on.

With each passing year it becomes clearer that Elvis hold on the collective imagination continues to grow even stronger say curators Suzanne Davies and Peter Barnes. In recent years fiction writers and film makers have been the most prominent interpreters of the Presley myth, yet visual artists and musicians have had the longest and most sustained dialogue with Presley's actual work. Davies and Barnes have selected work from a breadth of media including sound, installation, painting, video, sculpture, prints and drawings.

German sound artist, musician and composer Marcus Kaiser has created a maddeningly compelling version of the Elvis classic Blue Moon.

Polixeni Papapetrou's series of large-scale photographs at the Elvis memorial in the Melbourne General Cemetery capture images of young Elvis fan Nancy Nunez, taken in consecutive years on the anniversary of his death: a lyrical testimony to the loyalty of youthful obsession.

By Polixeni Papapetrou
By Polixeni Papapetrou

Stephen Little takes a fresh look at the blue suede shoe.

Drawing on Elvis extensive body of films, Soda_Jerk have created a DVD with Sam Smith entitled Pixel Pirate II: Attack of the Astro Elvis Video Clone 2002-2006 (pictured above). They have used footage borrowed from over 300 films and musical scores to create a remixed narrative, full of futuristic science, evil action heroes and a time-travelling Elvis clone.

David Disher's painting Axis of Elvis (winner of the 2007 Sulman Prize, pictured above) refers to the day in 1970 when Elvis met US President Richard Nixon to request an honorary appointment as a Federal Agent in the War on Drugs. At the time, both men were addicted to prescription drugs. The exhibition combines wit and irony with thoughtful critique and an engagement with the ongoing legacy of Elvis Presley in contemporary culture.

The exhibition will be opened on Thursday 16th August with an address by cultural critic, design and philosophy guru Alan Saunders and a performance by renowned musician Dave Graney.

Living Elvis opens at 6pm on Thursday 16th August, and will be open until Saturday 20th October.

RMIT Gallery is open 11am-5pm, Monday to Friday and 2pm-5pm on Saturdays. Admission is always free.

Contributing artists include: Irene Barberis, Peter Barnes, Simon Barney, Baz Blakeney, Bonita Bub, Sadie Chandler, Dave Disher, a collaboration between Richard Dunn and Matthys Gerber, Stephen Haley, Richard Harding, Marcus Kaiser (Germany), Alex Lawler, Stephen Little (UK), Liu Xiao Xian (China), Michalis Nicolaides (Cyprus/Germany), Polixeni Papapetrou, Giles Ryder, Stephen Skok, Soda_jerk, Darren Wardle, Jenny Watson

- In The Ghetto - Lisa Marie & Elvis Presley Video
- Interview with Lisa Marie Presley
- Father and Daughter Together Again
- Married at 21, Priscilla Presley Recalls Her Time With Elvis
- PhotoSynthesis: Elvis -- From 'Hillbilly Cat' to '68 Comeback

Specially for the 30th Anniversary ;

- Why Elvis? By Paul Simpson
Elvis - 30 years on ... and the world turns ... By Mark Cunliffe
- Elvis Presley - 30 Years On and Still The King By David Troedson
- A personal Presley pilgrimage By Scott Jenkins

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Elvis Presley Video Tupelo's Own Elvis Presley DVD

Never before have we seen an Elvis Presley concert from the 1950's with sound. Until Now! The DVD Contains recently discovered unreleased film of Elvis performing 6 songs, including Heartbreak Hotel and Don't Be Cruel, live in Tupelo Mississippi 1956. Included we see a live performance of the elusive Long Tall Sally seen here for the first time ever. + Plus Bonus DVD Audio.

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Tupelo's Own Elvis Presley DVD Video with Sound.