× Performance

← Previous Image  Next Image → Image credits ↓

Set up on the ‘Paris’ end of Collins street, HIGH VIS DANDY looks like your everyday construction site: heavy-duty traffic barriers, variable message sign, and rubbish skip ready to go. But when you get up close…watch out! It’s an extreme sewing workshop, bursting with powerful industrial sewing machines that rev through six seams a minute. Between instructing sewing students and taking high tea, the ‘workers’ show off their outrageously practical haute-couture high visibility workwear, demonstrating that you can still look good while you get your hands dirty. Preen and pose to the ultimate hypermacho soundtrack of your favourite Aussie cock rock, streetwise hip hop and heartfelt 80s hits.

A durational performance spanning five working days of the festival, HIGH VIS DANDY is Beau Brummell meets Bon Scott, boldly challenging the Australian definition of manliness by reappropriating that reigning symbol of rugged, anti-fashion masculinity: high visibility workwear. The installation and performance are the culmination of a long-term project involving public sewing workshops, intended to give men the skills and confidence to adapt, repair and custom-make their very own super-practical, super-stylish high visibility work vests. The workshops also provided a forum to discuss and investigate how clothing informs the construction of masculinity in contemporary Australian society.

Inspired by the artists’ own experiences in a culture where bullying and stigmatisation actively discourage men from learning sewing skills (or even taking an interest in fashion), HIGH VIS DANDY urges us to reconsider our assumptions about what it means to ‘be a man’.

Check out HIGH VIS DANDY on Facebook.

Supporters: City of Melbourne, Craft Victoria, The Keir Foundation


Matthew Kneale: Project director; performer; costume maker Daniel Koerner: Director; performer; costume maker Jessica Daly: Costume designer; performer; costume maker Zoe Meagher: Sound designer; performer; costume maker

Read more about the artist/s ↓

Project website: http://www.highvis.org/Home.html

· Dates & Times ·

Performance · Monday May 17—Thursday May 20 from 8:30AM

On the Footpath, 81- 85 Collins Street, Melbourne

Duration: Performances every day at 8:30am, 12:30pm and 4:30pm. One hour performances.

Price: Free

Finale Performance · Friday May 21 from 4:30PM

On the Footpath, 81- 85 Collins Street, Melbourne

Duration: One hour

Price: Free