11th Floor 522 Flinders Lane (Kings Carpark) Melbourne, May 2005
Lizzy Newman's work was made for MIR11, but it seemed less concerned with the abstraction offered by art-space, and more interested in camping out in the concrete. The work presented itself up as an aggregate of furnishings, producing a doubly real and imaginary waiting room complete with water cooler. The supply of water was sucked completely dry by the time of the opening, and the fountain sat strangely empty for the duration of the show, kept company by a bin full of plastic cups at its foot. It imparted the work with a slightly depressing ambience, edged by lack, and absence; and of a dissapointment that you get when arriving too late.
Arresting the free-flow of sweaty couriers and well dressed architects between the ARM architectural offices and the lift well, the work hooked into the context of it’s foyer; creaming together the corporate with the abstract and offering itself up, almost masochistically, as a zone of service provision.
That the work was banished from the space, (without the artist's knowledge), by the ARM architects while hosting the arrival of “some important clients” (but replaced by a painting for the occasion!); convinces me of the potency of this work. It’s indeterminate nature worked to playfully unsettle, and activate the latent and forceful politics of its’ place.