Artistic Director’s Message

The 2008 Next Wave Festival invites you to get a little closer to a whole lot of new ideas. Inevitably, getting closer to someone or something involves the crossing of boundaries: whether they are physical or psychological; geographic or political; imagined or otherwise. Each generation inherits a new set of borders that are different to the ones before, to understand or comply with, to negotiate, ignore or re-imagine.

In the Western world at the beginning of the 21st century, we’ve arrived at a time seemingly flooded with choice. New technologies; the continuing rise of the free market, easy travel; countless other options. But how do these technologies of closeness redefine our understanding of the time and place we inhabit, and where do they exclude us from going? When does closeness become unwelcome, an imposition or invasion? When are boundaries desired and when are they not? Themed Closer Together, this year’s Festival celebrates the capacity of young emerging artists to cross these boundaries, and to encourage us to do the same. In doing so, they bring us closer to a renewed understanding of the world, and each other. Their considered but fearless approach to making art defies traditional artform categories and embraces a profusion of ideas that points towards the central role of artists in defining our sense of the past, present and future.

The 61 projects and nearly 400 artists curated into this year’s program, drawn from across Victoria, Australia and overseas all question the conditions under which we are encouraged or blocked from coming together. Presented in public, private and independent spaces, as well as inside, outside (and sometimes underneath) some of our best-known institutions, this year’s Festival reconfigures our physical and cultural landscape through their practice.

Most of all, the works presented in the 2008 Next Wave Festival are an open invitation to connect – with artists and punters alike – in multiple ways, from the humorous to the confronting, the provocative, inspirational and the downright messy. Next Wave invites you to dive in and enjoy.

Jeff Khan Artistic Director