Spirit of Place
Spirit of Place is a meditation on the physical and intangible attributes of the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre in central Melbourne. The architect-designed space is centred around a towering internal atrium somewhat reminiscent of the heart and lungs of a human being. The atrium draws attention skywards, giving the impression of floating or flying towards the heavens. This new work celebrates the multi-layered attributes of the Centre’s symbolic heart, being the atrium space. What began as a visual exploration of the architecture soon came to encompass something like the spiritual architecture as well. Salsjö’s research went down into the bedrock of what came before on the site and up into the celestial realms. It went into the words that were distributed across the plans for the space and also the signage from within the finished building. She used these as prompts for decoding the residual data of the souls and their memories that are travelling up through the atrium into the ether. So many people go to the Cancer Centre for treatment, yet their onward journeys are entirely diverse and uncertain. This work pays homage to all who have passed through the Centre and is intended as a meditation on the mystery that we must all inevitably confront.
In addition to the multi-screen film installation, the work will be accompanied by a live chamber performance as part of the Art Bites talk series. The written music score is a key component of the project and emerges out of Salsjö’s research and analysis of the architectural plans and finished site. The chambre piece will be performed by five string players, and will be staged in front of the video work.
Mia Salsjö is an Australian Artist and Composer of Albanian-Swedish descent, who orchestrates multi-disciplinary art projects, encompassing drawing, music composition, text, performance, video, and textile-based works. Her practice is grounded in complex code-based systems, devised by Salsjö as a means of linking diverse media to underlying systems and structures.
Her work has been performed and presented in many exhibitions, including Modes of Translation presented at the 13th Bienal de la Habana, Cuba 2019 and The Score at Ian Potter Museum of Art, University of Melbourne in 2017. She currently holds one of the prestigious studio residencies at Gertrude Contemporary in Melbourne, Australia.
Spirit of Place will exhibit on the Digital Wall in the Bunjil Place foyer 23 May - 22 July 2022
Header Image: Still of Spirit of Place by Mia Salsjö.