Hostile Infrastructure is a participatory art installation created by Perth-based artist Bruno Booth which allows people to gain some insight into a world that is still largely inaccessible to the disabled community. Producing feelings of rebelliousness, slight indignity, failure and amusement, the installation sheds light on the everyday difficulties that appear when navigating the built environment in a wheelchair. The official opening will be held on April 5, 6-9pm.
Booth is a conceptual artist who uses a wheelchair. He has created a multi-sensory simulation where the viewer can engage with the feelings of inaccessibility that he and others face on an almost daily basis.
“As a person living with a physical disability, this work
has a special significance for me,” says Booth. “I use a wheelchair on the daily to navigate the world and I’m often presented with obstacles and challenges. This work is my interpretation of these challenges, in an obviously bombastic manner, that I hope will create the same feelings in the participants.”
“What I love about the project is the combination of participatory art, design and architecture, and what it highlights about accessibilities and public space. Bruno’s sense of design and use of colour is really brilliant, giving it a fun and engaging twist and sense of occasion.”
The public community space at Testing Grounds is a forum for discussion and discovery, marking the perfect setting for the participatory installation. The high visibility of the artwork and Testing Ground’s prominent location will give as many people as possible the opportunity to engage with disability and its associated concepts and constructs in a meaningful way.
The project is being constructed in part by RMIT interior design students on their first day of university as a mass build (in four hours) for Melbourne Design Week. Bruno will be on-site to help with the build and then utilise this existing structure to make his corridor installation.
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Participants are invited to wheel themselves down a long, narrow corridor, the walls painted with a subtle gradient that changes from hot pink to indigo as they travel through the work. The corridor is lit by neon lights that pulse slowly, changing the shadows and creating a colourful glow. As they wheel down the corridor the walls and ceiling close in making a smooth exit anything but certain.
Testing Grounds program director and curator Arie Rain Glorie says Hostile Infrastructure is one of Testing Grounds’ major projects for 2019.
“It will see the site transform in a significant way, showcasing what the site and infrastructure is capable of – large scale, site responsive and large-scale public art. It will be the largest installation we’ve had on site to date.
March 14-April 21, Wednesdays-Saturdays, 12-5pm www.testing-grounds.com.au