Cracks in the Pavement Project (2005)

In 2005 I was invited to participate in Cracks in the Pavement: Gifts in the Urban Landscape (Curator: Heather Johnson, Austin, Texas). The project was a multi-phased, interactive  on line project that called attention to the ‘in-between’ spaces encountered throughout everyday life. It focused upon details within the urban landscape and encouraged close inspection of our social space by inviting artists to deposit artworks in various places throughout their city so that people might find them. My contribution was the construction of a poster with digital image of a non-existent person. I achieved this by combining two facial photographs in Photo shop – one of myself when I was young,  the other of the boyfriend of an acquaintance of mine of a similar age. This integration of self with other (masculine and feminine) at a surface level proved interesting because the aesthetic process involved foregrounding some aspects and back-grounding others. I placed onto the poster the words ‘Have you seen this girl? suggesting that this was indeed a call for people to look for a missing person. My project was concerned with the fluidity of identity, surveillance, invisibility and difference. It invited the public to look closely at the work and consider the relationships that might be drawn between the image and its placement in spaces, which were sites of transition or contemplation. I placed the A4 poster on a tree near the Gate 4 entrance at the University of Melbourne, in one of the female toilets in the Union Building, on a seat in St. Paul’s Cathedral on the corner of Swanston and Flinders Streets, Melbourne,  on a wall in the Flinders Street Station underpass and on one at Southbank. Each of these posters had to be photographed in-situ and sent to the project coordinator. I was assisted in the photographic process by Leonie Cooper, since at that time I was suffering from intermittent vertigo. Only one of these posters were found, or rather, only one was reported as found on the Cracks in the Pavement website. This small project was directly influenced by my previous hybrid facial images constructed for the Exogenous exhibition.
My recent exhibition The Body and The City followed from this project in that it was also about absence and presence, the familiar and the unfamiliar, comfort and unease, special disorientation and spontaneous arrangement. It was amongst other things about the everyday, the commonplace activity of interacting with the general public in an urban environment.