Tag Archives: abandoned

The Echoes of Pain

One of the hi-lights of Biennale of Sydney on Cockatoo Island is Mike Parr video installations in one of the abandoned office building. It is a collection of 30 years of his artist career. He uses his body to explore pain and violence as a part of the human being. It is not pretty. It is a spook house that really hits you with reality. Once you enter inside, the stairs and hallway lead you to each room of presentation with brutal imageries and inescapable sound. And there is no way you can skip one. It is about our own nature of curiosity. You can still feel the irritation lingering in your soul when getting out.

Anyway, the building itself is like a time capsule. Traces of activities are left as it was. One who feels Mike Parr’s works are too much to handle can distract themselves and just enjoy the history.

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Cockatoo Island

Cathedral
Cathedral-like Turbine Hal

Biennale of Sydney this year is pretty interesting with the inclusion of Cockatoo Island as one of the venues. It was a prison, then turned into a navy base and finally closed down in 1992. The Sydney Harbour Federation Trust is now in charge of the biggest island in the harbour. Sydney is very good at converting its landscape into a playground and this place is suitable for it. It hosts some music events and parties as if we do not have enough in this city. However, the trip to the island by old timber ferry alone is worth enough to go out in the lovely afternoon.

This location is like a museum by itself. When it is put in as the backdrop of an art exhibition, the two things are competing to get my attention. I will put some thoughts about Biennale of Sydney, Revolution – Forms That Turn, later. Because I always have a hot for run-down and abandoned sites, here is the first bit of my journey to Cockatoo Island.