Installation views from ‘Embassy’ solo exhibition - OFFSITE Gallery, Fitzroy, Melbourne, 2018.
Foremost, the artist would like to acknowledge the Wurundjeri people of the Kulin nation as the custodians of the land on which this event took place and would also like to pay their respect to Elders past and present. Sovereignty was never ceded.
For many years, a family friend worked as a spy. Shortly after the fall of the Soviet Union when the U.S.S.R had to move gear quickly he was sent on an assignment to meet up with an ex-Soviet general to inspect a fleet of submarines for purchase.
Upon meeting the general, the operative asked cordially “Is this the first time you’ve been here?” referring to the picturesque harbour of the major city they’d met in, to which the Russian general replied with a quiet smirk “No - just the first time we’ve been ashore”.
An exploration of the absurdity of the borders that nation-states create, enforce and fervently protect; Embassy sought to question the ongoing legitimacy of modern diplomatic institutions in restricting the movement of individuals in a world of rapidly changing needs.
Through the re-creation of an archetypal consular space, Embassy charts a course from the Petrov Affair to modern whistleblowers removed from the Ecuadorian Embassy, to examine the amusing, sinister and codified rituals of diplomacy.
(I’ve had quite enough!)