On the Pulse

In late 2002, Melbourne's Federation Square didn't so much give birth to a new art gallery and moving-image museum as spit them out from a computer. A labyrinth of splintered steel, sandstone and glass, with more detours than a PlayStation game, for many the $A450-million complex represented everything they disliked about contemporary culture: an amorphous mass of postmodernism, with no discernable beginning or end. Here was a building that seemed to suffer from eternal attention deficit disorder.

Where better place, then, to survey Australian art and culture, in all its fractured forms? With 130 artists in two venues, "2004:...

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