Melbourne has been rated as the most liveable city in the world for the fourth year in a row. I believe that beyond the specific social and economical indicators, one of the best things about living in this city is being able to go to an art show/exhibition/presentation/gig/event, pretty much any night of the year.
In a city with such a rich cultural scene and so many boutique galleries to discover, I keep wondering why the winter masterpiece exhibitions are about traditional European art? Why is it worthwhile to go to see Les Misérables? I do not mean to suggest that Australian art is beyond European art, or to say that one or the other is not worthy, I just wonder what is it we still need to see from the old world? Or is it not to question? Is it just stated that important art has to come from far away? Anyhow I did my homework and went to see Victor Hugo at the State Library and what I found blew my mind away.
After passing through the construction site and finding the hidden entrance, some clues to answer my questions, first one; time travelling. I felt like Martin McFly entering to the past, the photos of old Paris and the beautiful sculpture busts of Victor Hugo certainly made a statement.
As I kept exploring the spirit of revolution Victor Hugo's verses lift my hopes in constructing a different society, the show takes you slowly to modern Paris not before to show you the original manuscript of the masterpiece Les Misérables, notes and crossed off paragraphs are like the closer look to the brush strokes in a painting. A hint of modern poster design, from classic typographic posters to printed book adaptations. Screen versions of the book, costume design and more.
And as if it wasn't enough my guide was wonderful Anais Lellouche curator of the show directly from France, yes with the je ne se qua; that the French accent has. The show is not a normal State Library's show... it is huge! The leisure room is gone and now its all Victor Hugo (sorry video game fans and midday nap hunters) Video, clothing, didactic material everywhere... yes you can play dress ups with that fab haute couture-like dresses or if you are more like me as an 1832 starving revolutionary with a classy hat.
Exit through the gift shop, and another clue to my answer; it is hard to see such a revolutionary spirit revealing itself anywhere near the most liveable city in the world year 2014, it is important to think about compassion and reevaluate the meanings of morality, overcome and accept our differences or simply try a different hat.
My rate "très bien"
Do not mix up with the musical Les Misérables, Victor Hugo is running till the 9th of November.