HD Video, stereo audio, 5 minutes, 2016
Earthwork’s screen is positioned flat on the floor, facing upwards. The visitor, looking down, gets a bird’s-eye view of a suburban landscape in which there are destroyed buildings, damaged roads, fences, and gardens. The image suggests a world that has undergone massive disruption. It is unclear whether accident, entropic forces, or warfare has caused this result.
Superimposed upon Earthwork’s devastated landscape is another smaller image that presents the viewer with an alternative framing the site. We see diagrams: symbols of what might be location coordinates, suggesting an ongoing search for boundaries, and an intention. The two images appear to be attempting to ‘line-up’, but this is never achieved.
The title, Earthwork, references the American Land Art movement of the 1960s; the work explores Robert Smithson’s concept of the ‘non-site’. A non-site is an artwork situated in a gallery that metaphorically represents a remote actual site. As Smithson suggests ‘the site is evading you all the while its directing you to it’.
Architecture Makes Us, UNSW Galleries, Sydney (2019); Architecture Makes Us, Griffith University Art Museum, Brisbane (2019); Architecture Makes Us, Centre for Contemporary Photography, Melbourne (2018); Rencontres Internationales Paris/Berlin, Paris (2018); I don’t want to be there when it happens, 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art, Sydney (2017); and Perth Institute of Contemporary Arts, Perth, Australia (2017)