As part of the 2013 Underbelly Arts Festival, I collaborated with Catherine Ryan to present a site-specific installation on Cockatoo Island in Sydney, entitled Nothing to See Here (Removal of Sydney Harbour Bridge).
It consisted of a scenic lookout, located on the eastern side of the Island, from which the Sydney Harbour Bridge can usually be seen. Upon peering through the lookout’s viewfinder, visitors were presented with a live image of Sydney Harbour from which the Harbour Bridge had been erased. The viewfinder showed the Harbour exactly as it was at that moment: every seagull, sailboat or picnicker that would be visible from this vantage point was there. The only thing missing was the Harbour Bridge. In some lights, there was the hint of an eerie, grey arc above the landscape, described by one person as a “black rainbow”. At other times, the bridge was completely indiscernible.
The image of Sydney Harbour without its iconic bridge is a way of considering instances of denial, removal, absence and invisibility in Australia’s history and present political landscape. It is, in part, an Australian response to the German artist Horst Hoheisel’s proposal to blow up the Brandenburg Gate, which he said would be the only adequate way to commemorate the peoples made absent by the Holocaust.
Accompanying the scenic lookout was a 32-page, black-and-white publication which contained an essay by Timothy Chandler, an essay by Ben Gook, as well as Images of the Invisible, an eleven-page montage of pictures and textual excerpts.
For more information about this work visit: thefuturesofthepast.wordpress.com/artworks/nothing-to-see-here-removal-of-sydney-harbour-bridge