to listen, not to preserve was a day-long program at Pipemaker’s Park, along the Maribyrnong River on unceded Wurundjeri and Boon-Wurrung Country. It was Co-curated by Isabella Hone-Saunders and Sebastian Henry-Jones, and co-presented by West Space and Melbourne’s Living Museum of the West and with support from the Maribyrnong City Council and Create NSW.
With installations, appearances, images, a shared meal and language from Akil Ahamat, Virginia Barratt, Archie Barry, Kevin Diallo, Debris Facility Pty Ltd., Jesse Gall, Snack Syndicate and the Filipino Chaplaincy Choir, Melbourne.
The project unfolded in recognition that today, being present and identifiable has become a double-edged sword, in an age where Capital itself is predicated on legibility. While there is a call for more equal representation in our institutions and official histories, historically vulnerable groups and individuals are also wishing to avoid the capture of their information within biometrics-driven processes that seek to extract profit through identification.
to listen, not to preserve considered these logics within the dynamics of presentation and display that constitute ’the arts’. This day-long program places the practices of early, mid and advanced career artists in dialogue with the archive and history of Melbourne’s Living Museum of The West, to consider different ways and positions from which storytelling may evade the impulse to make empirical sense and order of our lives. These engagements celebrated ephemerality, fiction, imagination and mutability, all the while considering the liveability of their influence on individuals searching for the conditions of togetherness within opacity.
Beautiful photographs and documentation by Kenneth Suico and Sharni Hodge