2009

Rubbish Theory

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Wii – Namchuk 225 x 120 x 3 cms – acrylic and flock

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Robbie the Robot and friends 225 x 120 x 3 cms – acrylic and flock

Click for more photos

The 12 windows in Campbell Arcade will be packed with a collection of objects that have been cast from the empty spaces in plastic packaging. Each display window will have a different pattern: patterns of use that reference products that could have been sold in the now defunct department store: computer gear, toys, confection, etc. Other arrangements, mostly crowded, suggest movement and echo the way people pass through the arcade.

Apart from being a mad critique of mass production and the era of the $2 dollar shop. Rubbish Theory asks questions about what objects will survive and become meaningful beyond their looming use by date. How do changing tastes affect the meaning and value of an object? (1) How will this stuff be viewed in twenty years time? Will we laugh about the old technologies and the crap that filled our lives or will some of these objects have a new meanings and significance?

Photos:John Brash

(1) Rubbish Theory – the creation and destruction of meaning by Michael Thompson

RUBBISH THEORY: Julie Shiels
Platform – Degraves Street Subway (Campbell Arcade) Melbourne
EXHIBITION: 1 – 25 September 2009
OPENING: Friday 4 September 6-8pm

Local knowledge

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Conversation #1
“How come there are so many mattresses?” she asked “I didn’t think this was a boarding house”.
“Nah, it’s just a block of flats ” said the owner, “the garage was full of them. It’s like everybody who ever lived here left behind a mattress. Whenever somebody didn’t need a bed any more they put it in there. They are in surprisingly good condition though. Council’s coming on Thursday to take them away.” Landlord

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“Are you fixing the place up to sell?” she asked.
“No it was falling down, floor boards rotting, dodgy electrics – the kind of stuff that when you start, you keep discovering more. We’ll be lucky if we finish before Xmas”.
“The garage used to be a practice room for a band. With all those mattresses stacked against the wall you wouldn’t even know they were there.”
“They’ve probably moved to Brunswick” Builder’s assistant

Spencer St, St Kilda

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“There used to be a guy that lived by the back door of the club. He was there for ages. Had quite a good set up really. That was his mattress and couch but he had other things as well: a coffee table, a vase with flowers and a lamp. He’s been gone for quite a while now, probably ended up in a psyche ward or something like that”. Local resident