Saturday, July 30, 2011

Narrative - A Possible Journey of a Wanderer Through the Docklands

I was wandering through the Melbourne Docklands, bored and a little cold. What a desolate and empty place! Maybe it's time to get out of here - back to the city. Turning up the Harbour Esplanade towards the tram, gin was the only thing that could save this day for me.

As I approached the bar, I noticed a strange, slatted grey box, seemingly waving in the wind. This wasn't here last time! Coming from behind I could hear music and crashing as well as what seemed to be the rhythmic whirr of an exercise bike! Curiosity overcomes me and I walk around the corner, and creep nervously down the dark glossy black corridor, noticing a nice warm volume to my right - maybe I can hunker down here to warm up? But curiosity draws me further past a dimly lit, dusty chandelier.

I enter a bustling space, full of people talking and brushing past me. A very strange man in a turquoise suit greets me warmly and asks me to take a seat while he arranges my consultation.
Consultation? I want a gin, not therapy!

But before I can explain I am swept off and seated in a giant black, ominously suggestive leather throne. Here my consultation begins. "Yes, it's a severe case... I'm the resident specialist and you have a severe case of Docklands Development Disorder - symptoms being boredom, loneliness, spatial disorientation, anxiety and the desire for a stiff drink.

He runs through a series of questions asking me about spaces I love, and how the Docklands makes me feel. From there I'm asked to jump on a modified trampoline, ride a rather dog-like exercise bike, crawl into a box before I finally approach the 'operating table', which seems to be a hub of activity.

People draw, people drink, people sit, people stand, people talk, people listen, people watch, lie, lean, run, jump, kiss, slide, yell.

I walk up the crimson ramp next to the table. This table seems tall at one end, and is gradually swallowed by the ramps towards the end. It's a table for all heights. I'm handed an "arse chuck" - a strange thing which a lovely blonde girl hands me - I am confused until she gestures - I take the wedge and find a spot, sitting on the ramp at the table.

My seat tilts me to my neighbour - a clean cut guy wearing a channel seven name-badge. He chats to me about his experience about this very strange place. What a hoot! Finally a little bit of life, surprise and unpredictability in the Docklands!

I had thought for a long time that the Docklands had no reason for me to stay - but perhaps this thing is what is needed! A place where we can rethink urban space and what the city means to us. A place where we can construct and deconstruct and enables us to choose how we would like to inhabit our urban landscapes. I really feel like the bigwigs are watching and listening to this.

Later on, I'm standing at the top of the ramp looking over the restless harbour. Maybe I'll give the Docklands another chance!

Sitting in the Consultation Chair:

Riding the bike into the forest:
Sitting on the arse chocks at the Operating Table:

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