v:Hotelling, to hotel, to play, to lose oneself
curated by David Pledger
produced by Bleached Arts
Surfers Paradise has lots of hotels, around 150 of them depending on where you set your boundaries. Heading north from southern Gold Coast you meet them as a façade, a front, a barricade. They are arranged as if to defend the indefensible, the appropriation of land for the recreation of humans. Development and hospitality, the primary drivers of life in paradise.
As a visitor, I see the hotels as a strength of the local culture, an opportunity to re-imagine the whole idea of culture through the prism they offer. So I wanted to write a new story in which a Surfers Paradise hotel was the major character.
The protagonist of our first chapter is QT Hotel, a highly theatrical establishment. Its identity is ‘designer-detail’ but highly inclusive because of its emphasis on play. In fact, you could say the sensibility of the hotel is that of a ‘play ground’.
You can see and feel it in the way its spaces interact, in the designer benches that greet you on every floor, in the uniforms (costumes) worn by staff that cast them as ‘characters’ in the QT play. It’s very Gold Coast, showy, colourful. But it’s also very stylish and sensual.
So the artistic canvas – the daily life of the hotel - is already a highly theatrical event occurring and changing on a daily basis in a site that in architectural terms is highly performative. The opportunities to embed artists, art-making and, ultimately, art in the hotel are irresistible and infinite.
Like any protagonist, the hotel needs a three-dimensional rendering for it to connect with its audience. I call it Hotelling, a 24 hours-and-a-bit on a fast-finishing, eclectic rollercoaster of an arts happening in all the corners of the hotel, top-to-bottom, left-to-right, inside-out. Hotelling is a new sport, a game for an adult audience, an alchemy of contemporary art and cultural hospitality.
4-5 November 2016 | QT Hotel Gold Coast