Looking beyond the colonial grid of the Australian city, Finding Country is an ongoing architectural experiment in re-engaging an Aboriginal conceptualisation of Country. Over the last thirteen years, Brisbane-based architect and Professor of Creative Practice at the University of Sydney, Kevin O’Brien has explored a wide range of architectural processes that consider the emptying of the city in order to reveal Country. Through the Finding Country project in its many forms, O’Brien and his collaborators seek out opportunities to represent the urban environment in pluralistic terms.
This exhibition brings together material from a number of variations of the Finding Country project, viewed collectively as a form of radical practice that exposes and interrogates moments of tension within the current structure of the city. From one of its earliest iterations as a proposal for the 2006 Venice Architecture Biennale, Finding Country has been drawn, written, taught, exhibited, constructed, presented and performed internationally. Works developed in association with Finding Country are often highly ephemeral, appearing or coming together and overlapping for a short time before disappearing or shifting form. Incorporating burning events, site-specific installations and projected assemblage drawings, the exhibition examines the diverse emptying processes of Finding Country and the opportunities they present to reveal more about the city in this very moment.