In 2016 Isabel Brison and Nuno Rodrigues de Sousa had a one week residency at frontyard in Marrickville, Sydney. They proposed to play a game with one another, sending messages back and forth to build a dialogue, each responding to the other’s prompts with either a piece (something made) or a reference (something found). The residency ended, but the game continues. The Common Soil showcases some outcomes of this ongoing process.
This selection of works is loosely grouped under the theme of destroying classicism. The column, as an icon of classical architecture and as a phallic symbol, is looked at and played with. A dead upright tree, a collage made from diagrams of a gothic construction, or a concrete ruin of a building that was never finished: all these are exercises in false verticality, architecture eating itself.
An interface that enables further distortion of the sequence of a broken-up essay and a failed attempt to make sense of an ilegible text appear to present meaning that is not, in fact, present. These pieces move the axis from vertical to horizontal, from architecture of buildings to architecture of writing.
All the forms under scrutiny here arise from a desire to order the world, through division of space or knowledge – even when those efforts are attempts, themselves, to overthrow a previous order. The common soil is where this cycle plays out, in continuous recycling motion.
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