Uniquely Yours

Seventh Gallery

August 2011

 

The premise of redefining Seventh Gallery as a habitable space, akin to a studio apartment was to highlight problems within Gertrude Street and Fitzroy at the time. This re-appropriation of the gallery allows for the piece to become defined as a site-specific, sculptural installation, with many socio-cultural overtones. This being highlighted when the space was auctioned off on the opening night to the highest bidder. Who would then be allowed to reside in the dwelling for the duration of the show.

What was borne out of our developing frustration with, and consequent despair of, Melbourne’s escalating real estate prices developed into a tongue-in-cheek reflection upon the ironies of gentrification of inner city housing. It seems somewhat comical that folk are so quick to pay the exorbitant prices demanded for stacked-shoe-box apartments within the vicinity of the very commission style housing that has been historically lampooned as inhumane and culturally offensive. What also becomes dryly amusing, whilst at the same time so fascinating, is that almost anything is becoming housing; warehouses, petrol stations, silos, telephone boxes….

This project allowed us the opportunity to collaborate with another whom we didn't know; whatever happened in the space was taken out of our hands. What the artwork became was an experiment of sorts, that demonstrated and mimicked the processes that we all partake of – whether consciously or otherwise. Through re-appropriation, this temporary space de-centred the viewer; the inhabitor developed their relationship to the space through action and alteration and the viewer becomes not unlike a domestic visitor or, alternately, dependent upon their own resonance within the space, a voyeur. A social game is developed as a form of artwork and allowance is made for direct observation of how people function within private space – the irony of course being obvious – what privacy?