HOME

SAMUEL TORRE
with Rubi Dinardo, Joseph Fonti, Lou Verga, Tori Dinardo, and Will Dundon

This was an exhibition that provided a mutual ground between diverse creatives, facilitated by the idea of the ‘house’. Curated by art and architecture students, the project explored a range of creative inputs to investigate the metaphorical concepts of a house and its inhabitants.

The project was curated by myself and Rubi Dinardo. Collaboration has always been at the centre of both of our practices, so we brought together a group of creatives compiled of both family and classmates spanning ten years in age. Joseph Fonti (artist), Lou Verga (writer), Tori Dinardo (interior design student) and Will Dundon (musician) were each allocated a room of the house as a prompt for their work. Reflecting on their personal experience and imagination, physical and ephemeral ideas were explored in response to their place in the home. We asked those involved and viewers alike to reposition the expectation that objects define a space, and instead consider how memories, stories and shared experience are what shape a home.

Last week I posted a series of images on Instagram of this project that comprised of photos which were mostly vacant of any human occupation. In a way, this act contradicted the foundation of the project. I’m not condemning photography as a tool for documentation and the necessary role it plays in communicating the delivery of a project to a wider audience, however a photograph can never compare with experience. Similarly, a book or a film review can never be equal to the act of viewing that item yourself and forming an independent opinion. Perhaps if you saw the exhibition you would disagree with our proposal entirely? Or consider the language used to describe it not represented in its execution?
The act of seeing, of reading, of listening - of physically embodying a space in that specific time is perhaps the purest way of understanding (or not understanding) a project. In a temporary project like this, and in a world obsessed with optics, how do we document it? The act of documentation translates the project into something else. Almost like a copy, something that had existed but has been warped in its digital context.
It will never be able to accurately emulate walking through the gallery and experiencing its interactive elements. A zine (that quickly evolved into a book) was produced as a tool for navigation. It compiled the images from both of our personal film archives which had acted as the catalyst for our concept. These pages document where we grew up, those we had lived our adolescent lives beside and our homes-away-from-home. We were leaving our teen years and reflecting on what consistently grounded us throughout this time. Although the North-Eastern suburbs of Melbourne and the walls we have lived between shaped us immensely, it has been the friends and family we have shared these spaces with that define this era.
NGV’s Head of Publications and curator of the Art Book Fair, Megan Patty has described the book as a “vessel”, and our book is perhaps the only artefact left of this project. The book has no photos of the exhibition, none of the artwork we made and not a single image of First Site Gallery. The gallery context was a place to facilitate an idea, a container for the temporary. The book however lives on, and its photos, poems, and the descriptive text of each space in the exhibition remains as a remnant of a project that has come and gone.

For architects, a large portion of time is spent documenting a project. This is crucial in communicating an idea to a client, builder or local council. It is a process - conventional and essential.

Is the photograph the only way to document a project after its completion? After the tape is pulled off?

Is it the most effective?

What if we consider post-documentation as a method for communicating a temporary project?

It’s common to see renders and detailed drawings of how people can occupy a proposed space, what happens if we utilise this technique in documenting a place that no longer exists - a kind of manual of how the space was used?  An alternative to conventional documentation but utilising conventional documentation as a medium.
Could this extend the role of the review?

Or is this simply a desperate attempt to hold on to the past, an inability to move on from old work?












EDITORIAL NOTE:When we considered what project to begin this digital issue of Shift with, the work that Sam Torre had been completing in the PROOF elective made a lot of sense. The original exhibition reckoned with the domestic and our relationship to our homes, which in itself would speak strongly to the domestically contained isolation of 2020. But with this “review”, and through a highly personal series of documents completed after the fact, Torre engages with memory, reflection, the temporary, and the ephemeral to construct a vivid picture of not only the exhibition itself, but also its inhabitation and its construction. The narrative that is constructed through the hastily scrawled annotations speaks to a concatenating series of events, the stories and the lives that go into constructing collaborative creative work. For us, Home is the perfect place to start this unique issue.



An independent, youth-led architecture journal from Melbourne (Naarm)


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proudly edited by:
Jack Murray, Connor Hanna, Yuchen Gao, Simone Chait, Yiling Shen, Daniel Bickle-Lazarow, Victoria Marquez,