This project, presented as part of the West Projection Festival 2018, stems from research into the industries and labour that built the western suburbs, particularly the bluestone quarry industry. Bluestone has a deep connection to the identity of Melbourne and the western and northern suburbs having been used to build many churches, walk ways and the Pentridge Prison. All, of course, are colonial designs.
The Sinking Village in Yarraville was a site that was once a Bluestone Quarry, then used to dump by-products from the sugar refinery and covered with grass. In the 70's, they built 40 units on top of this sludge filled quarry. The units soon began to crack and fall.
In response to this, Jacqui Gordon imagines that all of Melbourne sunk underground and the city we now live in is rebuilt after years of Melbourne being a huge wasteland. Parallel to the story of Atlantis but considering Melbourne as a lost distopia rather than a utopia. Using a humorous combination of local histories and invented narratives, 'Digging Up the Sunken City' looks at the western and colonial dirt as a way of attempting to contribute to the decolonisation of Australia.
Digging Up the Sunken City
Jacqui Gordon, August 2018, Digging Up the Sunken City, screenshot from video, West Projections Festival, Footscray.
Jacqui Gordon, August 2018, Digging Up the Sunken City, excerpt from video, West Projections Festival, Footscray.
Jacqui Gordon, August 2018, Digging Up the Sunken City, installation view, West Projections Festival, Footscray.