Hotelling blurs the lines between Gold Coast’s hospitality and its art

David Pledger has made artistic works in cattleyards, suburban homes, a movie studio, car park, museum, stables and an arcade. So creating a new piece of work specifically for a hotel was a piece of cake.

“I have had a performance-technology idea based around hotels kicking around for quite a while so I was fairly primed for the opportunity,” he told Blank GC.

There’s something about hotels that drives people to drop their defenses, lose their inhibitions, become a different versions of themselves. Pledger says hotels are like mini-societies.


David Pledger, curator Hotelling

“They reinvent themselves on a daily basis. And the chemistry of the guests, visitors, staff, the weather and the hotel’s activities like conferences, weddings, birthdays, parties determines what kind of society is created on the day.”

It’s an irresistible environment for an artist to play in. And best of all, hotels have momentum. I like momentum.

What David has curated is an ambitious and bold new cultural event that adds a new dimension to the city’s holiday experience.

Hotelling will see travellers, experience seekers and local culture vultures immersed in 48 hours of unpredictable art and performance, crisscrossing the corridors, courtyards, cocktail bars and clandestine corners of QT Gold Coast.

From the concierge to the couple next-door, the celebrity rock-star, the elevator valet, your swimming-pool partner and the hot date you wished you’d always had, there’s no telling who will pop up during Hotelling.

David told Blank GC that most of the program ideas were part of the artistic pitch for the project.

“They’ll be world premieres,” he said, “which is very exciting for both the program and the artists.”

But he also says he’s stayed at QT a lot. (They were a sponsor for 2970°, which David also curated) and some of those ideas were drawn directly from those stays.

“And some from my own seemingly never-ending hotelling experiences,” David said.

“Other ideas percolated in response to meetings with artists and finding out what inspired them about the idea.”

“And then I bounced all this around with the team at Bleach* in an open curatorial conversation, and so we have Hotelling.”


David said Bleach*, being a young organisation, needs to work on new projects like these.

“They expose its strengths and weaknesses, which is how you learn.”

“I’ve set up a lot of new artistic and curating frameworks in Australia and overseas, and they’re hard because you ‘make it up as you go’ but they’re also really satisfying because of what you find out about yourself and the people you work with.”

“Some organisations might shy away from the challenge but Bleach* is up for it.”

And that courage, David says, has been in play from the get-go.

“It shows in the success the festival has enjoyed – it’s actually one of the most original festivals in Australia. I think the organization is primed to do great things.”

“This year will set it up as a national cultural offering and next year, if it goes again, it’ll be a new entry on the international cultural calendar.”

Think big, I say.

A cultural tourism initiative of the City of Gold Coast presented by Bleached Arts and QT Gold Coast, Hotelling is set to blur the lines between where hospitality ends and art begins.

Hotelling runs 4 – 5 November.



Down the Rabbit Hole

Lose yourself in a down-the-rabbit-hole artistic rollercoaster, from the 22nd floor to the tennis courts this is some trip! Featuring artists such as Craig Walsh, The Farm, Todd MacDonald (Artistic Director, Laboite Theatre), Lawrence English, Kate Harman, Nadia Sunde and Shock Therapy Productions.

Friday 4 November + Saturday 5 November, 8.00pm – 11.00pm (arrival from 7.00pm), Tickets $50 and include free drink. Tickets.


The Afternoon Playground

From the penthouse, poolside and the promenade, indulge in offbeat artist-led conversations and confessions, bike tours, intimate cinema experiences and one-on-one yogi snacks.

Saturday 5 November, 1.00pm – 4.00pm. Tickets $30 and include free bike hire for a mystery QuTe Tour. Tickets.


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