Platform Hero Billboard: Continuous Moment: Mutual Life, Damiano Bertoli


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Damiano Bertoli

Continuous Moment: Mutual life 2018

August 2018-March 2019

Hero Building Billboard
118 Russell Street
Melbourne

Designed by Austrian architect Edward E. Raht, The Colonial Mutual Life
Building reigned as an extravagant ode to gold rush opulence from 1896 until
its demolition in 1959, its components subsequently distributed and redefined
on other sites around Melbourne.

On land purchased by the Equitable Life Assurance Society of the USA, ‘The
Grandest Building in the Southern Hemisphere’ introduced Melbourne to an
‘Americanised Renaissance’ style, a hybrid revival form which signals the
recent history of this monument as ‘constructed’.

Purchased by the Museum of Victoria in 2000, fragments of the façade were
placed in Colonial Square and nominated as sculptures, arranged as 'ruins in
advance'. Melbourne artist Damiano Bertoli continues their journey through a
rhetorical time warp. 

Recontextualising the fragments in a landscape depicting both the Cartesian
space of classical Western perspective and the ‘futuristic’ space of ‘80s
gaming and music video, Bertoli’s image draws attention to their shifting
status as mutable objects representing a jumbled accumulation of
genealogies which move simultaneously back through history and forward into
the future.

Curated by Angela Brophy

In conjunction with Spring1883

Supported by the City of Melbourne through the Arts Grants Program

Image: Courtesy of the artist and NeonParc, Melbourne

Damiano Bertoli's Continuous Moment: Mutual life will be available as a framed limited edition print from Neon Parc, Victorian Suite 306, Spring1883, The Hotel Windsor, 2-4 August, 2018