Country is an aboriginal Idea. It is an Idea that binds groupings of aboriginal people to the place of their ancestors, past, current and future.
It understands that every moment of the land, sea and sky, its particles, its prospects and its prompts, enables life. It is revealed over time by Camping in it and guides my way into architecture. It is a matter of belonging. Country is my belief.
What is yours?
The Finding Country Exhibition seeks a pluralist contest between the traditions of aboriginal space (Country), and European space (property) in Australia. Aboriginal Country is excluded from the Australian city. The city of Brisbane, located on the aboriginal Country of the Turrbal people, is the common ground of this confrontation.
It is the show Australia rejected.
Despite the 1992 landmark Mabo case High Court decision, a decision that struck down the doctrine of terra nullius (an empty land belonging to no-one), architecture in Australia continues its 18th century European tradition of drawing on empty paper. The aboriginal position is that this paper is not empty, but is full of what can’t be seen.
The aboriginal map of Australia reveals a continent with many Countries and many spaces. The prevailing spectrum of architectural positions, bookended by decorated sheds and metaphysical decks, continues to bring aboriginal Country into decline. If the opposite position is considered it is possible to find something lost. Cities historically enter states of decline, frequently associated with some form of catastrophe. Others end in a whimper. It is not unreasonable to imagine an opportunity for the recovery of Country through decline.
The central exhibit is an 8×3m drawing of the city of Brisbane consisting of approximately 50 individual grid submissions emptied by half to find something special. Each grid is an explicit architectural negotiation with decline, whilst carrying an implicit personal challenge to non-aboriginal architects to engage Country.
Since 2006, the Finding Country project has endeavoured to assert an aboriginal origin for architecture in Australia. It is led and directed by Kevin O’Brien a descendent of the Kaurareg and Meriam people of north-eastern Australia, and an architect working in Brisbane.
Opening Tuesday 5pm to 8pm
28 August, 2012
Spiazzi 1, Calle del Pestrin
(beside Ponte Storto, Castello)
Exhibition continues from
29 August to 29 September, 2012
Open 10am to 5pm, closed Sundays
Admission is free
Sam Bowstead, Jonathan Brown, Alex Brownp, Robyn Butcher, Andrew Campbell, Christina Na-Heon Cho, Naomi Edson, Susan Ellison, William Ellyett, Nick Flutter, Kirstie Galloway, Louisa Gee, Jason Haigh, David Hanson, Brant Harris, Elliot Harvie, Emma Healy, Claire Humphreys, Lucy Jeffries, Morgan Jenkins, Regina Kaluzny, Tom Kaye, Jonathan Kopinski, Zuzana Kovar, Michael Lineburg, Michael Markham, Michael Martin, Briohny McKauge, Kahn Neil, Eugene Nemesi, Lachlan Nielsen, Phillip Nielsen, Kevin O’Brien, Ashley Paine, James Russell, Larissa Searle, Nick Skepper, Chris Skinner, Tahnee Sullivan, Tina Tam, Rewi Thompson, Katrina Torresan, David Toussaint, Snigdha Udatha, Michelle van Pelt, Andrew Varendorff, Kirsty Volz, Lucia Wellington