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Sounding Out Vacancy
Artist: Julieanna Preston
1 Grey Street, Wellington CBD, New Zealand
Property Partner: DNZ Property Fund Ltd.
16 - 23 September 2014
Images: Julieanna Preston, Mark Amery and Helen Kirlew-Smith
Sounding Out Vacancy is a performative installation by spatial artist and architectural designer at Massey University's College of Creative Arts Julieanna Preston.
Rather than occupy a vacant space with brash pop-up energy, Preston as an artist drew attention to the vacancy, and brought it some warmth - something we noticed from the return warmth expressed for the installation by passersby.
This performance did what no ‘for-lease’ or ‘for sale’ sign could do. The storefront window was obscured by a film of soap, a customary gesture for a shop space under construction and renovation or assuming new tenants. During the performance, a spectrum of soundings were produced from within the space ranging from very subtle whispers, creaks and shuffles to more articulate and seemingly purposeful sounds associated with building repair and maintenance. This live feed sound work served as a sign of the transitory state of the space. The effect of robbing visual access aimed to heighten acoustic expression, in this case, making audibly present the sounds of vacancy.
The performance suggests interior space is always full and contingent, evidencing the life lingering in its material surfaces, and reconfirming the value of silence as famously asserted in John Cage’s 4’33” (1952).