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Site Occupied 2, 2012

Installation at Carriageworks, Sydney

SEXES festival, 26 October - 1 December 2012

Live performance on 25 October and 24 November, 2012

Curators: Bec Dean, Deborah Kelly and Jeff Khan



Site Occupied 2 was a large-scale installation in which a 44 metre long steel structure was covered with black cloth, resembling a niqab, and inhabited for the SEXES festival, organised by performance space in 2012. Audiences were invited to walk through a fabric tunnel created directly beneath the artist's seated position.

In the initial version of Site Occupied, the gallery floor space was covered by the Niqab of a woman standing at the centre of the room. As the hemline of her garment stretched to fill and occupy the space, the entrance to the gallery was obstructed and visitors were left to only look in from the outside. In this work I sought to replicate the experience of body-occupation for the viewer. The site of the gallery was used as a metaphor for the site of a woman's body; just as Muslim women's choices about their bodies are scrutinised and often restricted by fear-driven societies, so was the visitors' access to the gallery space.


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Site Occupied 2 builds on the narrative of the occupying body; this time encompassing a building structure. Garments, like buildings, create spaces that are denied from sight. Walls and fabric simultaneously separate and link inside and outside, creating fantasies of inclusion and exclusion.


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Photo credit: Alex Wisser, Kent Johnson