Melbourne, City of Melbourne
Eastern Kulin Country
Existing historical monuments that sit in the public realm demarcate moments in history. These monuments construct an idealised, fraught, and sometimes deeply painful representation of history.
The Re-Frame tactic uses an architectural device to enact a type of required confrontation, to reposition and re-think the histories conveyed by these structures. Re- Framing focuses attention to new details that allow us to question the narratives embedded within these objects.
Re-Framing was used in the ‘Over Obelisk’ project, where a new occupiable structure was erected around the John Batman monument, located within the Queen Victoria Market. The Re-Framing acted as an interruption to the monumentality of the structure, but also Re- Framed the inscription which stated that Melbourne was “unoccupied” prior to 1835.
The folly draws attention to the monument that needs to be reconsidered as the market precinct undergoes redevelopment. It asks passers-by in English and Woiwurrung: “Do you acknowledge that the events referred to by this monument are inaccurate?” prompting people to re-frame their own position or complicity with the histories presented.