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“We get in touch with things at the point they break down //Even in the absence of spectators and audiences, dust circulates…”


At West Space, Melbourne, 10 July – 22 August 2021


On Wednesday 7th July 2021, a small group were invited into the partially installed exhibition to sense the works, and co-author a collective audiodescription of impressions and responses.

Described by Benjamin Baker, Sebastian Henry-Jones, Zeno d’Evie, Hazel Pebbles Zagala, Thea Jones, Harriet Jones, Tara Heffernan, Tara McDowell, Biljana Ciric, Lizzie Boon, Amelia Wallin, Hu Yun

Co-edited by Fayen d’Evie and Harriet Jones



[Barely audible] Do you want to share some impressions?

I’m sort of swimming in information. But with… less… meat, like, there’s so much but it’s very distilled.

I’m thinking a lot about the floor… kind of like imagining all the bits of material between my foot and the floor, and through that kind of, experiencing this like, shrinking feeling… I feel like very small in space and that’s very amplified by hearing the footsteps of other people far away on the other side of the room.

Um… it contains a lot of people that have, um, have worked hard to be here or do something here or in some form around this place.

Yeah, it’s really interesting watching people navigate, um, a space that they’re either new to or familiar with, in a different way that accommodates more flexibility of absorption. I find that really interesting.

Do you have any impressions of the place or about moving in the place?

I just, I love the… I think I love the space between the objects cause it varies, um, and I love the height of everything because it’s a lot, again, varied.

Um I’ve just been noticing I think how everybody’s hushed voices are sort of blending together with the sounds of the videos and there’s kind of like a nice kind of a hum that’s coming through the space.

Um, I was enjoying sitting back and… watching, or feeling people move through the room and it created kind of channels through the work.

(Chime sounds from Aaron McPeake’s Resonant Cuts (fragment) work)

I have nothing particularly poetic to say just yet but um, I mean just walking into the space as somebody with quite low vision it’s surprising how much kind of harmony there is… but everywhere I kind of walk I’m almost sort of, there’s this gentle surprise of like oh there’s sound or oh there’s something, there’s some shape here or there’s something more. I think there’s something really special about that kind of immediate interaction with the art, which is quite gentle, and, you know still…

Well when Hazel read the score, I didn’t have my mask on I forgot to put it back on, and I was thinking about the quality of breath, and how it had that, um… ah, intensely cool but refreshing quality, and then I remembered that I had my mask and I put it on and I instantly felt the difference of the quality of breath… and I think I would not have been so attuned to that if it weren’t for her score, and so I just appreciated that slight, ah, change, and how, (laughing) how meaningful that is for our lives for a sense at this moment — how there’s a sensorial difference that perhaps we’re all becoming a bit accustomed to.

Hm, I…. really appreciate, um, limited access to certain things within the space… um, things that you need to ask, and cover — uncover… things that you touch… we don’t get that much opportunity to be so, in such a close proximity with the things and the people anymore… um… so I do really appreciate this layered complexities of access to things, and kind of shifting your expectation and understanding of exhibition as a finished product ready to be seen and viewed, and I think this gives a very different rhythm to what exhibitions could become in the future, and what we should think about could become in the future.

(Fragments of Carmen Papalia speaking from the Open Access video)

I realised that I can’t think about two things at once, trying to describe a um, an optical kind of effect that I experienced to my right, while standing underneath a, a speaker, and so maybe I’ll ask you to move to the right with me… over here… While I was standing over here I was observing script in embossed paper as a brail, and thinking through um, legibility of this — I couldn’t read it — my eyes are not bad they’re okay but I found to be closer to the text I needed to move closer my body to um, find a shadow against the text side itself. Before I came in this room I was standing outside and I saw an old lover from ten years ago and I was looking at him with the glare of the sky behind, and the kind of impressions of my eyes kind of kept coming back to me as I was looking at the white paper and looking at the text and relief…um, yeah just thinking about proximity and glare and, obfuscation I guess.

When Zeno first played the chimes of the brass I kind of, arrived in the space. And when Hazel was speaking I had this sense of gentleness just wash through my entire kind of body… and now moving the space I’m — I’m moving — there’s a kind of undulating flow and I can find moments of stillness really easily, and these, this kind of… this, this layer of, of movement of different patterns of moving through the room and each time there’s a different relationship.

Um, we were just talking about how the layers of translation create sort of a veil of obscurity — things that have been translated so many times that there’s a distance between the original and everything feels very layered. And I’m struck by the chalk on the ground that’s giving everything this kind of dusty, sensitive quality… and the lights down low… the dust on the ground… the murmuring videos… there’s a real sense of kind of stillness and slowness in the space that I’m appreciating.

(Muffled chatter in background)

Um I think er… by entering the space I’m… somehow I I’m, somehow looking for a, kind of space, or I would say a kind of energy? Like um, people pushing each other and dragging each other at some point together, or pushing each other to be apart. So this is I think my understanding of this ah, fluid part of the space.

(Chimes sound)

(Background chatter fades)