The third day of Biennial Lab was another non-trading market day. The stallholders were busy setting up for the next five days of trade, forklifting palettes, moving assorted fruit and veg, wrapping and unwrapping their stalls. Overnight, Field Theory had experienced some heavy rain on their cardboard box structure, the housing buckling under the weight, with members of the collective scrambling to rebuilt it between shifts on the radio.
Kiron Robinson’s quiet neons were up around the market, almost as inconspicuous as the phrase that he’s used in the work: "Upon this troubled sea, I rest my head". It’s a nod to emotion and exchange, anxiety and chaos, and the quietness inside of that. The eye of the storm. When you see the work, you’re in a moment with those words. Robinson’s work is displayed in three separate areas of the market - one, in the entrance to the Meat Hall in a blink and you’ll miss it crevice. Another is positioned on top of an electrical/storage shed in the Queen Victoria Market carpark, where the phrase "Upon this troubled sea" faces the blocks of apartments the the south of the market. The third is nestled into the roof of Shed E, flickering incessantly. The neons are quasi-moments in themselves, a visual neurosis.
In the evening, International Affiliate, Khai Hori, Chief Curator, Natalie King and Biennial Lab artist, Timothy Moore had a public discussion called Public Art: Rethinking public space. The conversation revolved around the uses and meanings that can come from public art, and how the art itself can conflate with different publics. The conversation drifted between the idea of risk in public space, to the role of the Lab in creating work for public space and to examples of previous art projects which have deeply engaged not only with the context of a site, but the loaded meanings associated with certain mediated, enclosed areas across the world. Listen below.
- Sarah Werkmeister