Art to break the power

By David Amaya

A 50-metre-long wooden strip carried by seven people divided the CBD’s traffic during Nite Art 2017 last month.

Split was an experiment of German artist Fabian Knecht who was the inaugural international guest of Nite Art.

The idea was to bring a performance that may disrupt people’s routine and challenge authority by presenting such a large object in a public space.

“We carried an object which is bigger than the measurements allowed for construction by city’s law,” Mr Knecht, who is widely known for using art as a means to break power and rules, said.

During the journey, Mr Knecht, a student, an old woman, a mother holding a baby and three others crossed some popular CBD streets with the long and heavy piece of wood in their arms.

Although the experimental artwork could cause inconvenience and irritation, pedestrians tried to grab the best spot to take some pictures and videos.

People’s appreciation of the eccentric public art shows the CBD is not just the centre of Melbourne but also a big art hub.

Mr Knecht intends to practice social activism through this unusual artwork.

“By questioning art we can take paths beyond convention,” he said.

During Nite Art, 50 artists’ work were featured in museums, galleries and the streets.

Perhaps the street was the most progressive scene because, in some cases, it involved people who were not only spectators but also part of the artwork.

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