Exhibited at Pin-Up Architecture and Design Project Space, Melbourne, Australia
EMBASSY brings together experimental architecture, design, performance and a commitment to an evolution of research practice. EMBASSY is inspired by the notion of the object itself and how it can be deposited outside its usual static context.
At Pin-up, the first iteration of the EMBASSY project culminates in the EMBASSY Foundation. Here, the EMBASSY volume appears to draw reference from spatial negotiations such as those of American artist/curator/writer Dan Graham where the space has been ordered yet disturbed by the assemblage of the new object.
The EMBASSY Foundation itself feels incomplete – deliberately so. An intriguing quartet of panel garage doors is held in unison by a robust, workmanlike timber frame yet lifted out of the ordinary via its glossy ‘skin’ of stark white paint. The installation appears as a set of contradictions: a pure, modernist form and, at the same time, a commentary on the Australian suburb and a celebration of the banal.
A conceptual trigger point for Embassy was the rigorous choreography and the explosive energy release of a rocket ship launch. However, here at Pin-up, EMBASSY Foundation appears as an intervention more in the spirit of Martin Creed where the probability of action is the choreography of everyday occurrence rather than a single, phenomenal moment.
Nevertheless, there is a tension that is building here in the instinctual knowledge that the doors will move – spreading and reaching, the multiple layers and openings create an intriguing interstitial space. The entrance and exit sequence alludes to an experience of liminality… a threshold to be crossed into an ambiguous space. Once closed, those outside the object are immediately excluded – what lies within?
The blunt, highly reflective whiteness of the doors sits in high contrast to the blank, gritty backdrop of the Pin-up warehouse. These two opposing elements sit uneasily together– something seems amiss… in a moment of Hitchcock suspense we wait for what will happen next... EMBASSY Foundation is the first of an ongoing series of in-situ tests, installations and performances that will inform the EMBASSY project throughout 2014 and beyond.
Words Fleur Watson
Matthew Bird (Studiobird) and Phillips Adams (BalletLab). Curated in collaboration with Fleur Watson.
Photography Peter Bennetts