Windows 2007: Meyers Place
In September of 2007, the Melbourne CBD bar, Loop, held a series of events titled "Geek Chic: contemporary Practices in the Digital Age", organised in partnership with Next Wave Festival artist Alex Gibson. Yandell Walton was invited to exhibit at the event alongside several other new media artists.
Whilst looking around the venue at Meyers Place, Walton was drawn to a row of windows across the lane. Anonymous and easily missed at the back of a restaurant, the unassuming nature of the windows ultimately contributed to the enigmatic quality of Walton's dreamlike video installation. The work floats somewhere between the familiar and the uncanny, the actual and the illusory.
“Windows is a projection work that is both beautiful and slightly disarming... from the street at night the installation can be viewed. What you see looking up... is a window projected onto an actual window. Walton plays here with the blurring of the real and the imaginary, the real and the virtual.” Lucy Elliot, Art Matters
How was the space first identified and who was contacted to secure it?
The artist Yandell Walton and the curators of the Geek Chic event identified the site together. The windows were found through scouting the area around Loop and were identified because of their close proximity to the venue and because of their sheer presence in the streetscape.
It turned out the windows looked out of the offices of Florentino’s Restaurant. The owner of the restaurant was contacted directly by mail, but after receiving no response their premises were visited in person and permission was negotiated soon after.
This site (the one eventually used) and a second alternative were both identified in one afternoon.
What was required to secure the space?
The curator of the Geek Chic event, Alex Gibson, organised access for the artist to the inside of the building through goodwill.
What needed to be provided by you as hirer or user of the space?
As the work was viewed from the lane, and the main event was held at Loop, there were few requirements. The work was up only for the night of the event. The owner let Walton come in and set up for an hour or two and use the premises’ electricity. Walton then returned the next day to pull down the installation and lock up. No insurance was required by the artist.
What were the costs?
Only things directly associated with the installation work such as hire costs for projectors etc. No cost for using the premises.
What were the resources available to you?
Equipment hire was entirely my responsibility, however, support was received from the event organisers in negotiating access to the projection space and promotion of the project.
Who helped you to fit it out?
I set up the installation myself.
What were/are the obstacles?
Installing the work without disturbing the space as well as working around a limited access time, required special consideration. Props were constructed to hold up the screens without making contact with the window or surrounding wall, and a timer was rigged up to turn off the projectors at midnight.
What were/are the risks?
The only real risks were that objects in the space could get damaged during set up or that the projectors would catch on fire.