“If buildings harbour stories and places retain semblances of passing time, events and experiences, Block 73 approaches the question of how the past can be perceived in relation to the present. New narratives unravel in the discovery of Tanglin Camp, an abandoned military base still haunted by remnants of past life – former reflections now absent from mirror-lined walls, vacant sick bays and diagnostic rooms, a decrepit bar, a left-behind clubhouse and its other forgotten atmospheres. Found objects, artefacts and their enigmatic signals, such as newspaper clippings or handwritten letters that had been left in-situ, imagine memories of another time while affirming the presence of the past. In as much as our perceptions of place are formed by visual and aural reception, Block 73 attempts to investigate and capture these felt auras through the creation of a camera obscura that re-presents Tanglin Camp to an audience encouraged to pause, to look and to listen.” - Eliza Tan, Singapore Biennale Short Guide, 2006.
A ‘fake’ camera obscura made site-specifically using an old wooded black hut within Tanglin Camp, an ex-army barrack. 2 pinholes provide ‘projection’s’ into the hut of the view outside; these views however are mediated through pre-videoed animations of the external view shown on TV monitors directly hidden directly outside the hut. The work is experienced by entering the hut and waiting within the darkness of the hut for your eyes to adjust and faint pinhole images to become clearer.
Format: Site-specific installation with animated video and sound.
Duration: 2 x DVDs with sound, 7.45 min, looped.
Commissioned by: Singapore Biennale 2006