I only heard the term “site-specific” for the first time last week, and I saw it again today, like a make of car you’ve just come to notice.
I love decaying, secret urban and industrial sites. Love. them. When Barista put up a post on the Japanese ghost island Gunkanjima, I was happily googling it for days on end. Same with the motorcycle rider of Chernobyl and the wonderful secret tunnels under the city of London. I’m too chicken to go where the Cave Clan used to go in Melbourne, but if they ever decided to do guided tours, well.
We saw Collapse last weekend – a site-specific installation/play, which uses the heavily patina’d wharf area between the boat clubs and the shipbuilding factories at Williamstown.
In November 2008, Melbourne based company Red Cabbage will be installing a large-scale site-specific performance which will transform a secret historical location in Williamstown.
The Melbourne premiere of Collapse is a tale of human survival within a society in crisis. Audiences will embark on a journey by boat to discover a post-apocalyptic community seeking grace in the midst of adversity.
We had to assemble at Spotswood Scienceworks jetty (Scienceworks is another collection of cool old industrial archaeology, and that whole precinct is a great hangout for the industrial landscape lover, although it’s not what it used to be.) A boat took us to the wharf where the Red Cabbage collective used the old buildings (the same ones used for the Tall Ships project, I think) where I got to enjoy some vintage decay plus interesting weirdness. We weren’t really expecting a plot and suspected it might be quite installation-y, so we weren’t disappointed.
They also take you into the old morgue, which is a bluestone building smaller than the average school portable, with hefty shelves all around the perimeter. Not many ghostly vibrations there, though, with so many people crowding in.
We finished up at the Pirate’s Tavern, which is the hidden hideout of the game fishing club. It’s got a great scruffy personality. They hire the place out for parties– it’s worth a look, the fact that it’s all so hidden is the best part of the fun.