EMBASSY, Pin-Up Gallery, 2014 © Phillip Adams BalletLab



Embassy was developed through Adams and Bird's participation in the annual Pin-up Summer Residency program. The residency provides an opportunity for architects, designers and artists to work in-situ within the Pin-up Gallery over the summer period, to conceptualise a new work, reframe or expand upon a work in progress or reflect upon body of collective outputs. In consultation with the Pin-up team, the output of the Summer Residency forms the first exhibition of the year and, in turn, builds upon a conceptual framework for further exchange towards future collaborative projects.

Embassy brought together experimental architecture, design, performance and a commitment to an evolution of research practice. Embassy was inspired by the notion of the object itself and how it can be deposited outside its usual static context.

At Pin-up, the first iteration of the Embassy project culminates in the Embassy Foundation. Here, the Embassy volume appears to draw reference from spatial negotiations such as those of American artist/curator/writer Dan Graham where the space has been ordered yet disturbed by the assemblage of the new object.

The Embassy Foundation itself feels incomplete – deliberately so. An intriguing quartet of panel garage doors is held in unison by a robust, workmanlike timber frame yet lifted out of the ordinary via its glossy ‘skin’ of stark white paint. The installation appears as a set of contradictions: a pure, modernist form and, at the same time, a commentary of the Australian suburb and a celebration of the banal.

A conceptual trigger point for Embassy was the rigorous choreography and the explosive energy release of a rocket ship launch. However, here at Pin-up, EMBASSY Foundation appears as an intervention more in the spirit of Martin Creed where the probability of action is the choreography of everyday occurrence rather than a single, phenomenal moment.

Nevertheless, there is a tension that is building here in the instinctual knowledge that the doors will move – spreading and reaching, the multiple layers and openings create an intriguing interstitial space. The entrance and exit sequence eludes to an experience of liminality… a threshold to be crossed into an ambiguous space. Once closed, those outside the object are immediately excluded – what lies within?

The blunt, highly reflective whiteness of the doors sits in high contrast to the blank, gritty backdrop of the Pin-up warehouse. These two opposing elements sit uneasily together– something seems amiss… in a moment of Hitchcock suspense we wait for what will happen next...

Embassy Foundation is the first of an ongoing series of in-situ tests, installations and performances that will inform the Embassy project throughout 2014 and beyond.

Creative Team

Presenter: Pin-up, curated in collaboration with Fleur Watson

Artists: Phillip Adams and Matthew Bird (Studiobird)



27-29 MARCH 2014