Overview, Images

Visible Absence

Alex Walker

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A series of losses and longings.

Attempts to recover and reconcile.

A space to repair and to heal.

An offering, a shield to mourn in peace.

A collapsing of moments past, present, and yet to come.

“Simultaneously solid and transparent, material and ephemeral, it brings together what he elsewhere did in parts, fusing in one devastating symbol the twin mechanisms of confinement and exposure”
———— The Window The Lonely City - Olivia Laing

During the course of this project the Nicholas Building lost its twin structure. The pair of buildings have stood together on Swanston Street since I can remember, surely much longer than that.

Recollections emerge from the minds eye and collapse upon the present moment. Like a reflection in glass enabling you to see what lies behind you and ahead.

Visible Absence exists at a junction of states, the in-between space formed when you are present in one moment and recalling another. Like trying to remember something you are innately (due to the very nature of memory) already beginning to forget. An amalgamation of experiences - collapsing and colluding, intersecting and emerging.

Fixed and unfixed images overlap like memories swimming in and out of the minds eye. I hold my loved one close and we become a hybrid. No longer two, but one. A trace of our co-existence.

I noticed the sameness in our hands and you appeared

My fingers became yours

You stroked my hand and I was not me any more

I was me and you

I heard your voice in my ear and I knew you were there

Just for a moment

—— Self-other

Confronted by the loss of the Nicholas Building’s twin structure due to the Metro redevelopment, the pair of artists felt it necessary to assist in its rebuilding, both emotionally and physically. Considering relations between self and other, where states collapse and collide on a visual plane, an attempt to repair irreconcilable loss, a Visible Absence.

Alex Walker is a practising visual artist and writer from Naarm/Melbourne, working primarily with photography, installation and unfixed images to create work which stimulates spatial perception and memory in response to architectural elements present within the gallery and beyond. She completed her BFA & Honours at the Victorian College of the Arts and holds a Masters of Art Curatorship from the University of Melbourne.

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The Nicholas Building

Room 14, Level 7, 37 Swanston Street

Melbourne, Victoria, 3000

Wednesday – Saturday, 12-6pm
Closed on public holidays
(+61) 3 9650 0093

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Working on unceded sovereign land of the Wurundjeri and Boon Wurrung people of the Kulin Nation, Blindside pays respect to Elders, past, present and emerging.