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    Image exhibitions at RMIT explores relationship between architecture and Las Vegas, Surfers Paradise

    Geraldine Chua

    RMIT Design Hub will host two image exhibitions detailing the relationship between architecture and the development of cities this year, between 1 April to 2 May.

    The first is Las Vegas Studio: Images from the Archives of Robert Venturi and Denise Scott Brown.

    In 1968, American architects Robert Venturi, Denise Scott Brown and Steven Lzenour joined together with students from Yale University to take on Las Vegas as the subject of research.

    Spending three weeks in libraries, four days in Los Angeles, and 10 days in Las Vegas, the team’s research led to the 1972 publication of the seminal architectural theory treatise, ‘Learning from Las Vegas’.

    With their work, Venturi and Scott Brown has influenced the way the modern, commercial city is seen, while setting up the path for other urbanistic research projects that have followed in both methodology and questions of representation.

    The exhibition will present the images and films that were taken during the 1968 research.

    Flamingo Hotel and Casino sign, Las Vegas 1968

    Within Project Rooms 1 and 2 at the RMIT Design Hub, these archival materials are presented alongside a series of video interviews, objects and ephemera collected from leading Melbourne architects that trace the Venturis’ influence on the development of Melbourne’s architectural culture and education.

    The Melbourne context for the exhibition is further investigated via a catalogue essay by Professor Peter Corrigan, as well as a commissioned, bespoke exhibition design by Melbourne practitioners Searle x Waldron Architecture.

    In addition to Las Vegas Studio, a partner exhibition will be presented on Level 3 of the Design Hub. John Gollings: Learning From Surfers Paradise (1973-2013) was inspired by 'Learning from Las Vegas', and is a re-photography survey looking at the changes that have occurred in Surfers Paradise between 1973 and 2013.

    Learning from Surfers Paradise (1973-2013) by photographer John Gollings. Image: www.gollings.com.au

    Gollings has captured images of particular areas in Surfers Paradise that are similar to ones he took in 1973, making use of the same cameras and lenses, and standing from the exact locations.  The composition of both the old and new pictures have been matched "regardless of any modern awkwardness in the image”.

    “The comparisons make an important point about progress and development and raise many issues,” writes Gollings on his website.

    The exhibition will be curated by Fleur Watson.

    Opening Celebration – Las Vegas Studio / John Gollings exhibitions

    When: Thursday, 3 April, 6-8pm

    Where: Project Rooms 1 and 2, Level 2, Design Hub, RMIT University, Corner of Victoria and Swanston streets, Melbourne.

    Cost: Free

    Closing Lecture - Lecture by Professor Martino Stierli, Curator and Author of Las Vegas in the Rearview Mirror: The City in Theory, Photography and Film

    When: Wednesday, 30 April, 6.30-8pm

    Where: 2Multi-purpose Room, Level 1, Design Hub, RMIT University, Corner of Victoria and Swanston streets, Melbourne.

    Cost: Free

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