Contemporary artist Yhonnie Scarce and Melbourne architecture studio Edition Office have been announced as the winners of the 2019 National Gallery of Victoria Architecture Commission for their scheme titled In Absence.
Occurring annually, the NGV Architecture Commission is an open national competition, which invites architects to create a site-specific work of temporary architecture, activating the NGV’s Grollo Equiset Garden. For 2019, architects were encouraged to submit ideas focusing on multidisciplinary thinking, collaboration and audience engagement.
Yhonnie Scarce’s and Edition Offices’ project In Absence is an architectural installation that invites audiences to better understand the fallacy of the premise of Terra Nullius, which declared Australia as an emptiness awaiting ownership, by revealing and celebrating long histories of Indigenous construction, design, industry and agriculture, including the permanent villages and dwellings of many Indigenous communities
The dark and enigmatic exterior form of the timber tower conceals a textural and uplifting interior, composed of two dramatic internal voids adorned with two thousand black glass Yams by Yhonnie Scarce.