Today Hiromi Tango was on-site, adding to Wrapped with a group of volunteers. The work asks audiences to bring to it an emotional thought, using wrapping as a metaphor for the hidden baggage we carry around. Developed with Australia’s leading neuroscience institute, the Florey, the artist uses wrapping as a way to deal not only with emotional baggage, but also to deal with the carrying of emotions, we “often we use the analogy of the backpack, but this time, in the market environment, we’re using the trolley. You can engage with the landscape of the market and if you get overwhelmed you don’t have to take all of the information, you can carry the trolley without carrying anything”.
The sculpture has been added to during the week by the artist herself, and with the help of audiences and volunteers. Jutting out from Shed A, the work looks like a moving behemoth, slowly gathering stories with it as it is built upon. The artist’s presence on site give the sculptural work an extra boost, as Tango performs with the installation, as though she, herself, is entangled in its mass.
The walk today was marred by heavy rain, and extreme winds, a problem that had hampered Biennial Lab’s effort before. During install, parts of buildings were destroyed with Melbourne’s extreme gusts, but thankfully, they were all fixed. Today, the wind kept most visitors at bay, but for those who came, there were intimate experiences with artworks that might not have occurred with more crowds.
Tonight, on Field Theory’s 9000 Minutes, the artists confronted what they weren’t able to confront during the week due to the Council’s ‘caretaker period’. In this period, it is typical for any communications around politics to not be issued by the government or council, save for pre-approved content. The purpose, of course, is for political discourse and opinion not to be affected by the council itself. Today, at 6pm, caretaker mode was lifted as the council election had occurred that day.
One of the biggest issues surrounding this year’s election was the development of the Queen Victoria Market, which many market stall-holders are wary of, or completely oppose. Field Theory dedicated the next (and final) twenty four hours of their broadcast to celebrating the stories of the Queen Victoria Market, and by allowing the opinions of market stall-holders to be elevated. One woman came in and spoke about how her experience of the market went back to her grandparents! At night, the presenters went out to the Mercat, a nightclub which sits on the edges of the Queen Victoria Market, and which is frequented by both locals and tourists looking for a place to dance. At times, during nights, listeners could tell that things got a little sketchy while broadcasting from the market at night-time, and at times, it was also rewarding to have conversations with those night-crawlers. Tonight it was just great to listen to what nightclub goers were doing, and the ways in which the night does things to people.
One of the other works that addressed the disjunction between the future of the market and the market’s history was A Centre for Everything’s Visible Hands. This audience-led walk around the markets sent people around traders in a kind of choose-your-own-adventure style tag-team. It examined the unspoken language of the market through gesture, in which each of the market traders who were involved, offered a gesture that they used to signal specific meanings within the market. Some traders referenced the development with a hand signal that audiences learned on the walk, while some referenced trade and relationships within the market.
- Sarah Werkmeister