Saturday, 21 December 2013

The Secret Life of Buildings

I'm reposting this from a previous blog as
it engages a theme which is on-going in my work: spirit of place (genius loci).

It’s not often I fall in love with a building. But after four years I’m still smitten by the extensions  to the State Library of Queensland.

Among many ingenious architectural devices employed by the designers is one which continues to engage my curiosity: a somewhat mysterious ‘billboard’  which fulfills several pragmatic functions (screen, shelter, edge, space-and place-maker). But in place of the expected advertising it displays a stylized botanical pattern reminiscent of wall-paper. The multiple scales of this apparent decoration are perhaps a clue to decoding significance. ‘Ceci n’est pas une publicit√©’ , this is not an ad, it’s anything you want it to be.

I made this video as part of my ongoing engagement with the hidden layers of urban places. It explores ideas about collective memory.

I have composited time-lapse footage of the State Library of Queensland with footage from the Brisbane Writers Festival which is held here annually.

For a few moments the veil lifts, the usual pattern fades, the billboard becomes a screen for the projection of layered collective memories of events which have happened here.
“Real time” is de-saturated and becomes erratic outside the frame of remembered time.