The Architectural Uncanny

A Polaroid photograph of an apartment block in Wolfe Street, The Hill. I spotted this building on the first day of my residence in Newcastle and subsequently walked past it on a number of occasions. Each time I came across it I was struck by the sense of the uncanny that the structure embodied. Built sometime in the first half of the 2oth century, this solid, largely unremarkable building features a central staircase that leads to an unseen and unimaginable interior. Escaping the harsh sunlight and disappearing into the at once inviting and foreboding darkness, the staircase is an unsettling and enduring presence. On the last day of my residence I returned here to film with artist Penny Thwaite, whose ascension into the darkness I shot on Ektachrome super-8.

The Store

A series of Polaroid photographs taken on level 2 of the partially derelict Hunter St building that once housed the long defunct department store known simply as “The Store”. A ubiquitous presence in the newspaper advertisements of 1968, The Store ceased trading in 1983. The massive building was radically remodeled sometime thereafter to house a number of smaller shops and a food court. Today, the building is largely empty with whole floors abandoned. A sports-shoe warehouse (3rd floor)  and a computer shop (1st floor) were the only operating businesses when I visited.


Following up on our 2009 Newcastle-based collaborative work, dreams that money cant buy, writer Johannes Klabbers visited the city for a few days (3-5 feb) last week.   The visit provided us with an excellent opportunity to explore the possibilities for further collaboration on the dissolution project. In addition to exploring the landscape , making signs with home movie titling kits and shooting copious quantities of super-8 film we managed to shape the contours of a series of speculative texts that will use the landscape itself as a prompt. Below is a polaroid photo taken in the largely forgotten gardens behind the Christ Church Cathedral.