In Response: Dialogues with RealTime

This exhibition marks the closure of RealTime art magazine and the launch of its archive.


25 February - 25 April 2019


Level 5 Main Library


Open City Inc.
National Library of Australia
School of Arts and Media

A digital version of the 2019 exhibition In Response: Dialogues with RealTime is available as an online exhibition.

View the online exhibition

In Response: Dialogues with RealTime is an exhibition marking the closure of RealTime art magazine and the launch of its archive. RealTime was Australia's critical guide to national and international contemporary arts 1994-2018 and has played a crucial role in documenting and providing critical commentary on work in dance, performance, sound, music, film, digital media and visual art that carved out new terrain in those fields. Academics at UNSW have been working with the editors of RealTime Keith Gallasch and Virginia Baxter, UNSW Library and the National Library of Australia since 2017 to secure the RealTime archive in both its physical and digital form. The collaboration between UNSW and RealTime is celebrated through this exhibition that contributes to innovations at the interface between performance, the archive and the gallery.

The exhibition features the oeuvres of Martin del Amo, Branch Nebula (Lee Wilson and Mirabelle Wouters) and Vicki Van Hout, Sydney-based artists working across performance, choreography, site-specific work, video art, visual arts and writing. Coverage of the artists' work in RealTime was presented in the exhibition space through printed and spoken word alongside artefacts from relevant performances, documentation (photographic and audiovisual) and related texts (programs, other media coverage). Throughout the life of the exhibition there were three public presentations, one each month, where the artists guided us through their gallery room and provided insights into their practice and their relationship with the critical commentary surrounding their work. The exhibition closed with the launch of the RealTime archive and a brief recount of the three presentations.

In Response: Dialogues with RealTime is presented as part of UNSW Library's Exhibitions Program. The exhibition is co-curated by Dr. Erin Brannigan (Senior Lecturer SAM) and the artists in consultation with Jackson Mann, (Curator, Special Collections and Exhibitions, UNSW Library), RealTime founders and editors, Virginia Baxter and Keith Gallasch, and fellow RealTime Guardians, Dr. Caroline Wake and Gail Priest. The curators thank the RealTime team for their practical support of the project.

The RealTime Archive is a collaboration between Open City Inc., National Library of Australia, the School of the Arts and Media, UNSW and UNSW Library.

The artists involved took part in pilot archival projects at Critical Path, Australia's centre for choreographic research and dance development, as part of Dancing Sydney: Mapping Movements: Performing Histories. This research project is lead by Dr. Erin Brannigan, Dr. Amanda Card (University of Sydney) and Dr. Julie-Anne Long (Macquarie University) and is supported by Critical Path and the NSW State Library.

Open City, the publisher of RealTime, has been supported by the Australian Government through the Australia Council, its arts funding body, and by the Visual Arts and Craft Strategy (VACS), an initiative of the Australian, State and Territory Governments.

Exhibition text

See the exhibition catalogue for essays and the list of artworks featured.

Accessibility: UNSW Main Library is wheelchair accessible.

Image gallery

Events from this exhibition

Martin del Amo Lecture-Performance

Martin del Amo took his audience on a guided tour through his body of work. Drawing on RealTime reviews and performance photographs by Heidrun Löhr, he shared insights into the making and reception of his significant contribution to the Sydney dance and performance scene, spanning over 20 years. Delivered with del Amo’s trademark wit, this lecture-performance also incorporated excerpts from his acclaimed dance pieces. 

Event was held on 28 February 2019.

RealTime Archive launch

The exhibition concluded with the official launch of the RealTime Archive. The event featured excerpts of the lecture-performances delivered by the artists over the course of the exhibition, a dialogue by RealTime’s Keith Gallasch and Virginia Baxter, and speeches by Martin Borchert, Tony MacGregor, Jeremy Smith, and Professor Sarah Miller AM.

A transcript of the speeches is available on the RealTime website.

Event was held on Wednesday 17 April 2019.

Branch Nebula Lecture-Performance

Branch Nebula made an in-library appearance, as living archives. They were available for audiences to interrogate amongst two decades of accumulated artefacts. How did they survive this long and where will they go next? What possessed them to dedicate so many hours to constructing experiences for audiences? Why did they presume to wedge their way into the cultural discourse of our time?

Event was held on 20 March 2019.

Vicki Van Hout Lecture-Performance

Van Hout invited visitors to participate in actions with her installation to understand the durational nature of her sculptural practice as a preparation of the performance space. This tradition is consistent in indigenous dance as Van Hout has experienced it across Australia, and is part of a more encompassing understanding of performance practice. 

Event was held on 10 April 2019.