Spectacle: The Music Video Exhibition

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Björk’s “Wanderlust” , 2008 © Courtesy of ACMI (Australian Centre for the Moving Image)
Spectacle: The Music Video Exhibition

Federation Square, Flinders Street
September 26th, 2013 - February 23rd, 2014
Opening: September 26th, 2013 10:00 AM - 6:00 PM

(03) 8663 2200
Open daily 10am to 6pm


Spectacle is a groundbreaking and sensory exploration of music video as an art form of our time. The most comprehensive exhibition on music video presented to date, Spectacle features over 300 works, taking the visitor through a labyrinth of sound, movement and vision.


Presented across nine thematic sections, Spectacle is experienced through a dynamic fusion of interactive installations, projections, videos and immersive environments, including recreated sets and original objects never before seen outside of the videos themselves.


Music videos are the playground of film directors and cinematographers, who use cutting-edge special effects and visual technologies to change the way that music is promoted and consumed. This exhibition is designed to highlight the central place of these landmark music videos in popular culture.

Spectacle brims with music video history, from the earliest sound films of musicians such as Louis Armstrong, Bessie Smith and Cab Calloway, through to the latest online sensations.

The exhibition features promotional videos for pioneers such as Bob Dylan, The Beatles, and David Bowie, innovators such as Devo, Björk, and the Beastie Boys, and icons such as Madonna, U2, and Nirvana. Spectacle spotlights the MTV masters who expertly used the medium to define their public identities, through to artists like OK Go, Lady Gaga and Kanye West who follow in their footsteps today.

The music videos featured in the exhibition span the experimental and the extravagant, the political and the provocative, as well as epic productions which cross the boundary into short film, demonstrating that creative ingenuity is the key to creating a perfect marriage of sound and vision.

Some of the world’s most innovative cinematic figures, who developed their signature style through experimentation with music video, such as Michel Gondry (The White Stripes, The Chemical Brothers), Spike Jonze (Björk, Fatboy Slim) and Mark Romanek (Lenny Kravitz, Jay Z) feature throughout Spectacle.