Impossible Utopia (2011) takes Buckminster Fuller’s geodesic dome, a potent symbol of utopian architecture as it’s starting point. Once a celebration of industrialisation the geodesic dome was invented with the intention of solving the post-war housing crisis, with its mass-produced and easily fabricated rigid, modular units. The geodesic dome in a pneumatic form, as the centrepiece of Impossible Utopia is built from hundreds of discarded umbrella skins stitched together, remnants of mass production, highlighting the symbolic role of it’s image through it’s failures.
Inside, an alternative mapping of the local Rocks area focussing on real estate to highlight displacement in the area from first white settlement until the present day using the themes of rum, rats and rebellion.
In conjunction with the installation a walking tour, Ramble Through the Rocks, took participants around the local area to meet community stakeholders and discuss local struggles, past and present. Speakers included; local historian, Lukey Folkard; a Rocks public housing resident of over 45 years, Rod Jennings and 70s Green Bans activist, union leader and living legend, Jack Mundey.
Ramble Through The Rocks (2011) was a walking tour exploring various histories and communities within The Rocks area of Sydney including; the original Indigenous inhabitants – displaced through white settlement, the Plague that led to the 1902 slum clearances that were used to relocate residents, the internationally renown Green Bans movement of the 70s – that helped save the historic built fabric of the area as we know today, the first area for public housing in Australia – currently being sold off for private 99 year leases, and discovers that all these struggles point back to one thing: Real Estate.
Read catalogue text by Anna Davis here
Impossible Utopia and Ramble Through The Rocks (2011) were produced for Primavera at Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney and the cartography was commissioned by Performance Space for the Perambulators project.
Collection of Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney