missing walls: bureaucracy at work

GH made missing walls: bureaucracy at work in 2007 and included the artwork in Overheard Conversation: Sculptural Situations by Gail Hastings at the Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, in 2007. missing walls: bureaucracy at work is a standalone artwork. The artwork's medium includes Oil paint on plywood; lead pencil and watercolour on silk; framed watercolour & lead pencil on paper., measuring, overall, 2.1h x 4.3w x 4.5d m. missing walls: bureaucracy at work is in a public collection: Daimler Art Collection, Berlin, 2011.

Encyclopaedia of Art on Walls Never Made

‘No’, replied the bureaucrat when asked whether these are the four walls — blue, yellow, red and black — that form the central chamber of the library that crowns the brow of this nation’s thoughts and qualms, at the crest of this nation’s conscience, atop Capitol Hill. ‘No’, reiterated the bureaucrat, ‘these four walls are a fiction, a fraud. The library was planned, but never built: a conversation intended, but never had.’

[floorplan details]

  • empty
  • where a conversation was planned but never took place
  • The ‘Encyclopaedia of Art on Walls Never Made’
  • missing Shelves
  • Where the transcripts of Marion Mahony and Walter Burley Griffin’s  conversations on their 1911 plan for Canberra are stored.
  • missing wall: red
  • missing wall: black
  • a chair someone has borrowed and forgotten to return, leaving it stranded around the corner, somewhere
  • missing table

[watercolour on silk]

  • Black Mountain
  • Mt. Ainslie
  • Capitol
  • 1911 Canberra plan
  • A library at the apex of a nation: that nation’s history, that nation’s conversation with itself
Bibliography
Melissa Keys, ‘Gail Hastings: Sculptural Situations’, Sculptural Situations: Gail Hastings, exhibition catalogue, Perth Institute of Contemporary Art, Perth 2008.
Andrew McNamara, ‘Making space for the invisible architecture of the social’, Sculptural Situations: Gail Hastings, exhibition catalogue, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney no.2.07, 1997.
Renate Wiehager, ‘Contemporary Art in dialogue with 20th century architecture and design: Gail Hastings — Charlotte Perriand’, in Renate Wiehager (ed.), Minimalism and Applied II, exhibition catalogue, Daimler Contemporary, Berlin 2010, pp.2–7.
Renate Wiehager, ‘Gail Hastings’, in Renate Wiehager (ed.), Blitzen Benz Bang: Daimler Art Collection, exhibition catalogue, Hatje Cantz, Berlin 2009, pp.418–423.