The Housing Question
⬤ Geelong Gallery 26 Aug - 29 Oct 2023
In architecture, people love modernism. They just can’t get enough. Clean lines, large windows open to lush gardens, simple wooden furniture. People also hate modernism. They detest its pretensions of purity, cleanliness, and prescriptive universalism. I’m sure I could find many of you nodding in relief. So, who loves modernism, and who hates it? What class, type, mode, genre of people? What rights do these people have? What category of people are we talking about and what claims can I or anyone else make about this imaginary group of people?
These issues are at the core of The Housing Question (2019), a video work by Helen Grace and Narelle Jubelin, currently on show at Geelong Gallery. Sumptuously shot with inter-titles and an immersive soundtrack by audio artist Sherre DeLys, the work has been shown at quite a few institutions since 2019, often with additional curatorial embellishments. At Geelong Gallery, the work was shown in dual channel parallax: the same video, projected side by side with off-set starting time. Sitting in the simply-furnished and darkened room, there are visual and auditory slippages between the two channels until it becomes clear which channel has the audio (hint: it’s the one on the right).