Cover image of the review
Installation view of Lou Hubbard's Walkers with Dinosaurs, 2021-2023, Melbourne Now, The Ian Potter Centre: NGV Australia, Melbourne. Photo: Sean Fennessy

Melbourne Now by Cameron Hurst

1 Apr 2023
National Gallery of Victoria | The Ian Potter Centre: NGV Australia 24 Mar - 20 Aug 2023

Here’s a Naarm tale as old as time: When I moved to the city in 2017, I bought a Perks and Mini (P.A.M.) shirt at the second-hand clothes shop Goodbyes (then Recycle Boutique). It was a white cotton tee and featured a couple of black, Matissean graphic figures wobbling around. Crucially, the word “MUTATION” was printed in black lettering below the figures, which added an edgy, transhumanist element to an otherwise fairly mundane tee. I loved this shirt and wore it everywhere. To work, to the club, to my uni classes, to bed. Just like that, I had MUTATED—from a normal girl from the Perth suburbs to a P.A.M.-card-carrying Melbournite. A few years later, the shirt disappeared during a break-up. My ex-boyfriend said he didn’t know where it had gone. I didn’t necessarily believe him, but I accepted the loss graciously. The shirt wasn’t quite as cool as it had once been. It was a bit…Melbourne Then.

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