Görkem Acaroğlu is a Turkish Australian interdisciplinary performance maker with 25 years’ experience in documentary and digital performance, live art, text-based theatre, immersive and site-specific performance and community engaged practice. She has written and directed numerous documentary performance works including the award winning Yet to Ascertain the Nature of the Crime about attacks against Indian students in Australia; The Habib Show about the media circus surrounding the incarceration of Mamdouh Habib; Pandora’s Eyes about women recovering from addiction and The Colour White about body altering procedures that non European young people arguably undertake to appear more white. Görkem wrote and directed Love, Madness and Poetry exploring Eastern and Western ideas of love and has worked with numerous youth theatre companies devising original works. She has directed multiple theatrical productions of contemporary plays; premieres of new writing; site-specific works and adaptations.
Over the past decade, Görkem has pioneered a form of documentary immersive site specific performance with works including The 24 Hour Experience, a living documentary of the lesser known perspectives of a place, 24 live works on the hour every hour for 24 hours, engaging 150 artists, 24 community partners and 24 venues in Melbourne in 2014 and then a new iteration in Ballarat 2015. As Creative Director of Metanoia Theatre, Görkem developed Milk Bars in 2016 which took over the Mechanics Institute exploring the Australian milk bar phenomenon since its demise with the rise of supermarkets. This work engaged multiple artists across artforms presenting a work that audiences could explore at their own pace. In 2015 Görkem curated 10Cs, another site-specific immersive work that engaged 10 artists and a number of non-artists in an exploration of the ten commandments. In 2018, Görkem directed the Birregurra Arts Ballyhoo part of Regional Arts Victoria’s Small Town Transformations, a live art event engaging multiple artists and community members, presented as an immersive site specific work after a two year engagement with the town of Birregurra. Görkem was Creative Director of Melbourne Workers Theatre 2010-12 and founder/Artistic Director of Metanoia Theatre that turned Mechanics Institute, Brunswick from a hall-for-hire into a contemporary arts space, through a tender with Moreland council (2013-17).
In 2013, Görkem was Creative Director of the Mixed Reality Performance Lab, establishing partnerships with Deakin University’s Motion Capture Lab to create 3D stereoscopic backgrounds and a motion capture operated avatar as a performer with live actors; and with the Institute for Intelligent Systems Research, Görkem oversaw the creation of a custom made robot that performed with live actors, responding to voice commands. Görkem was an inaugural Sidney Myer Creative Fellow and has a PhD in Cyborg Theatre, a Masters in Interactive Media (RMIT) and a Masters in Film Arts (UTS) as well as an Honours degree in Theatre (UNSW). She is a VCA graduate Director and was a member of the NIDA Playwright’s studio and her first degree was in Social Ecology. In 2019, Görkem undertook an art and technology residency in Istanbul funded by the European Union, where she created two exhibition works – Before it all Melts, an installation of two human figures projected onto large ice slabs that bled as they melted, and Love Letter to Istanbul an audio tour into Istanbul’s underground.
in 2019 - 2020, Görkem is a key mentor and trainer in Diversity Arts Australia's Fairplay Program, an Equity program funded by Creative Victoria, working with key Victorian Arts Organisations.
A series of exploratory conversations
What is the role of artists in changing our systems? This is a series for artists and arts workers to explore big ideas, how they relate to conditions in our sector, with provocations and opportunities to start imagining what change might look like.
Field Trip - Arts, Science, Tech and Environment Symposium
An online symposium exploring ideas of basic income and the need for an approach to economy that puts creativity and care at its centre. Led by a panel of artists, researchers, economists, scientists and philosophers, the symposium responds to current and ongoing planetary crises, and positions creativity and social ecology as integral to shaping policy and systems of value.
Little Lunch Online (LLOL) is a daily online meet up and creative exchange to support the Australian arts sector during the Corona Virus pandemic.