Stepping Out: Nocturnal at Melbourne Museum

We were invited to attend Nocturnal at Melbourne Museum on Friday night, and the evening was a precisely magical time to be in the presence of science and the ages.

The Nocturnal series runs on the first Friday night of every month, giving people almost free reign in permanent areas of the museum across collections, cultures and time.

Because it’s strictly an adults only event, all children are lovingly banished, which is heaven if you ask me – I have kids, so I feel qualified to write this with confident authority. In its own right the Museum site is architecturally striking, and to be there while the sun sets through the expansive windows feels like a cheeky opportunity to touch things and mingle, or mingle while touching things from nature, and sipping bubbly at the same time. Frankly, it makes you want to skip halls with your chattiest shoes on.

Live music & an intelligent cocktail crowd

The live entertainment program has seen the likes of NO ZU and Mildlife perform, and Total Giovanni with Sampology (DJ Set) are set to play on Friday 2 February. Nocturnal provides a sophisticated middle ground for first dates, which I’ve written about before. In fact, I’ve since been told that people sometimes hide behind exhibits to lose their Tinder dates. Hilarious.

Personally, I couldn’t fault the drinks (as usual), but the food offering could be better – we decided against Museum food and headed out for dinner afterwards. There’s also a nail bar, which I thought was a little random, but you never really know when the beauty bug will strike, now do you?

You can now listen to live music while having your nails done. Will wonders never cease?

 

Inside Out: a feature exhibtion running until 11 February, 2018

As part of our adventure, we were handed headphones and guided through the fascinating INSIDE OUT exhibition. Described as a ‘one-of-a-kind audio-aesthetic adventure with extraordinary objects are reimagined with theatrical beauty’, Rich and I both found the recorded commentary stifling and a little bit cheesy.

 

The exhibition style where intuitive technology follows explorers wherever they want to go by fading in and out as they approach displays is a little less limiting. That’s not to say that the exhibition doesn’t hold exquisite sites to see, from minerals and crystals, heritage fashion by the inimitable Prue Acton, taxidermy and drag show costumes – there’s even a horse drawn fashion hearse for those in times past who wished to ‘pass in style’, a Swatch watch tree, a classic Holden 48-215 FX motor car and an assortment of cameras through history.

On reflection it was oddments assembled in a pretty way, but neither of us knew the point of it, most of the time. You see, the thing with beauty and clever curation is that something must have a bigger purpose, or it appears not to make very much sense. Even on reading the blurb on the exhibition in the Museum’s What’s On pamphlet, I was left feeling bewildered… Frozen moments, vibrant vignettes and abstracted everyday environments combine well only if there is a cohesive theme holding it together.

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THE NEXT NOCTURNAL EVENT IS BEING HELD on FRIDAY 2 February FROM 6 TO 11PM. Nocturnal HAPPENS ON THE FIRST FRIDAY OF EVERY MONTH AT MELBOURNE MUSEUM, 11 NICHOLSON ST, CARLTON. FOR TICKETS AND MORE INFO CLICK HERE.

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