Many friends have recently asked me why I am posting photographs of empty buildings in Darwin. It took me a little while to think and compose my response.
Here is my response:
The lessons of the Renaissance in history is one I often think about when reflecting on my city. One of the lessons generally is that legacy left behind when the wealthy, architects, artists and philosophers came together to rescue beauty, truth and wisdom from the dark ages of history and actively sought to shape their present and future with the public good in mind. Citizens turned to philosophy to nurture the beautiful and the good.
Darwin is so far removed from that urban renaissance ideal.
Darwin is just the right size to get a global perspective on the zeitgeist cannibalising our time.
During the renaissance powerful individuals believed that cities should be the focus promoting the good and commissioned lasting inspiring edifices- buildings, public squares, gardens and art works to adorn them.
I take photographs of these empty Darwin buildings to highlight the absence of the public good ideal shaping our city.
I compose around the renaissance concept of perspective to highlight that successful urbanism is not an accident.
We are shaped by the buildings around us. It is not chance that makes a city look good. Darwin is so far removed from this ideal it is the quintessential post historical frontier town masquerading as a fake city, the ugly city where the overwhelming ethos is one of indifférence, where the spectacle of private opulence thinly camouflages public squalor, squander and neglect.
Darwin is an excellent metaphor for the state of belligerency shaping our time.