Père Ubu in Melbourne
a fragment

Time and Place:
Melbourne now
Dramatis Personae:
Père Ubu Melbourne Person

(Père Ubu is discovered walking alone through Queen Victoria Market.)

Ubu (breathing deeply):
By my fluorescent gaze, we are excessively fatigued. (Sees giant, brightly coloured cardboard sound system.) Person, having recently explored the laneways and Gardens of Flagstaff, we are entering your splendid Gallery, which will serve as our Mnomadic Haven, being of suitable transience.

Person (aside):
This is someone new!

... could you therefore direct the here-present Student of Mnomadics to the hub which has been re- named?

Excuse me?

Ubu (to himself):
Shit, I cannot communicate with them. I shall try once more ... Person?



Person (openly):
Queen Victoria Market.

Ah. And that is no doubt a replica of a sound system that the Queen heard on an official visit to the ghettos of Kingston?

What? No. That’s a Radio.

Ubu (pointing upward):
And what is that?

Person: .
It's a visual neurosis.

I see. And where is this troubled sea that I may rest my head? Where are you going?

I'm meeting my friend Michael and we’re going to Seven Seeds.

Ah, yes, I had heard there was Coffee in the town. Reynaldo told me that it brought him Life again.

I'll have to go now – I hope you find that taste, that smell, that sense of connection that you’re looking for.

(Slowly walks away, watched by Père Ubu. When almost offstage they drop leaves from Eremophila longifolia. Silently they pick them up again and exits.)

- John Borley

Biennial Lab program


Public Art Melbourne asked Adelaide-based artist to write a creative response to Biennial Lab.

John Alexander Borley is an artist based in Adelaide. He has worked across Australia, New Zealand and the United Kingdom. In 2008 he presented Time and Again and published the book On Time and Again as part of City of Melbourne's Laneway Commissions.