Flue, Shanghai Biennale

As the centerpiece and Exhibition Design of the Australian Pavilion at the 9th Shanghai Biennale, this installation engaged crowds with labyrinthine corridors containing raw materials and the activity of a public production of bricks. Flue was an exhibition where the creative possibilities of a world full of stuff simultaneously blocks and facilitates production. Flue is a system built around an interest in materials; how they are used and how they are shaped for use. Fractured into three separate spaces, this 3-month long installation centered on the production of a peculiar, yet functional object: a cement brick, doubling as a vessel. It was a curious and contradictory object. In two of the spaces, material stores were hidden away only to be revealed when visitors pushed on the heavy moveable gallery walls. This action not only uncovered a material archive but depleted the material stores each time a visitor entered each space. By pushing the walls throughout the space, visitors could send materials for the production of these brick-vessels into a single, final room. At the end of the exhibition, the brick-vessels were mailed by China Post to those who had reserved them.

Flue was realised by the art collective Bababa International and involved members Tom Melick, Stephen Russell and myself.