Currently closed for installation

27 June 2020—29 August 2020

Freedom is the gentle exploration of boundaries. I wear jeans, t-shirt, fragrance.

Daffy Scanlan, Jah Maskell, Jordan Barse, Jordan Halsall, Kate Meakin, Spencer Lai, Travis MacDonald & Victoria Todorov Organised by Spencer Lai

Freedom is the gentle exploration of boundaries


To understand the boundaries of the self is a practice as old as time. The limitations of the self as an organic vessel, as a network of organs, cellular forms, blood, nerves. Freedom is the gentle exploration of boundaries. The function of the synapse is to transfer electric activity (information) from one cell to another. The transfer can be from nerve to nerve (neuro-neuro), or nerve to muscle (neuro-myo). The region between the pre- and postsynaptic membrane is very narrow, only 30-50 nm.


Thousands of bootleg Frozen backpacks are worn by children. Frozen is popular. I imagine their global formation as a complicated syndication of dots and swirling patterns on a weather map, like a swarming drove of locusts searching for bodies of water. Elsa’s playful smize meets mine, her dilated pupils seem to call out, beckoning for my attention. A vector form in the shape of a speech bubble appears above her head containing, heavy with mangled English. I read the text many times, but can’t make sense of what the text reads and I mildly dissociate, enjoying the misinformation, allowing it to envelope me, pool around me. Children often dismantle their toys to understand the mechanisms that lie within. These investigatory attempts to disassemble the toy often results in disfigurement. It is rare that the child possesses the necessary motor skills or tools required to ensure that the object is dismantled in a safe fashion.


The limited scope of understanding of our environment, the intangible presence that enshrouds form and bodies: I imagine this to be of shades of lilac or violet: perhaps in this case, a cool, aquamarine. Perhaps more specifically, the paint I have selected for the floor, here is called ‘Green Tiara’, by Taubman. I figure that the experience of this colour is something like a piece of costume jewelry in the mouth, a repeated spasm of dull metallic tangs. The tongue moves over the jewelry, exploring the cavities, caressing the negative recesses where there are no diamantés, the ridges of the fastening structure. Searching the object’s physical form, exploring the solid volume (surface) for repositories (non-surface).


We didn’t have a fight out of nothing. That is rarely the case - that is, for fights to appear from no clear action. I suppose I felt on edge after having a dream that evening. I was an adolescent girl. More accurately: I dream about the embodiment of a young person during their formative years. In the dream I make friends, listen to music. I rebel against my parents, who are conveniently represented in my dream as two shadowy, undefined figures. I lie in bed and kick and cry and scream into my pillow. No one understands me, and if only there were other people like me out there, we could be friends. We could share similar interests in another city. We share each other’s clothes and exchange information with one another. We laugh and play together. And if there is no one else left in this world: so be it. This scenario could take place from the 1950s, maybe, through to contemporary times. Perhaps the content of the argument, along with the character flow dynamics could change here and there. Maybe there is a really old setting, like a medieval dungeon or mead hall. We could consider rendering much of the background in CGI. It could be more futuristic, I suppose, too. I will leave this with you, as you are knowledgeable, to imagine the future and its appearance.

Please note that the clothes, music and environment changes slightly, incrementally more modern and stylish, each year.

Spencer Lai

Exhibition is supported by City of Melbourne COVID-19 Grant