Monday, June 20, 2011

ASHTRA YAHOUSE



ASHTRA YAHOUSE I
A film charting various histories of the World Heritage listed Royal Exhibition Building through symbolism.
Cyclists wheel through the site of Melbourne’s first velodrome / Passers-by gather around a salamander which survived the destruction by fire of Melbourne’s original Aquarium / Athletes pay homage to its use as an Olympic venue. Set to a soundtrack by ten local musicians including The Bowers, Jessica Says, Ben Mason, Evelyn Morris, Alex Nosek and Marc Regueiro-McKelvie.



ASHTRA YAHOUSE II
A scaled reconstruction of the Harry Norris-designed Kodak Administration Building which stood at 173-199 Elizabeth Street, Coburg from April 1961 - June 2011.
Rendered from recycled cardboard and embedded within the existing architecture at Rancho Notorious, local faces peer from it’s broken windows and torn fa├žade in a nod to the work of graphic designer Peter Corriston.



Photos - David Boyd Smiley

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Sam's Response


Jarrad often tells me music factoids when we work at the bar together.
Today I went and checked out his art and he gave me another factoid. Apparently the Led Zeppelin song ‘Houses of the Holy’ isn’t from the album Houses of the Holy, as I’d always assumed, but is actually from Physical Graffiti which was recorded two years after. Now this is hardly one of his most interesting factoids – like the time he mentioned he often plays basketball with one of the Architecture in Helsinki guys – but it’s a factoid nonetheless. I only mention it because ASHTRA YAHOUSE II pays homage to the Physical Graffiti album sleeve. It looks kind of like the sleeve, only it’s in the shape of a now demolished Kodak building and is constructed entirely from slab boxes discarded from the bar where we work. That and the pop culture images in the Led Zeppelin version have been replaced with images relevant to Jarrad’s memory. It got me thinking that if patrons create cardboard waste that is then repurposed for Jarrad’s art while listening to Led Zeppelin through the bar speakers then they’re kind of simultaneously drinking and hearing fractions of Jarrad’s art without even knowing it. That kind of circularity makes me happy. Like how for a moment in ASHTRA YAHOUSE I you can see the Architecture in Helsinki guy playing basketball. Or how Jarrad’s grandfather was a bricky for the original Kodak building and now Jarrad’s rebuilt it on a smaller scale. Or how one of the photos embedded in the piece happened to spark a happy memory of my own. I never got to see the original Kodak building; it existed in a public space that means nothing to me. But connections are everywhere if you look for them.

Sam West