At PICA we recognise that we are situated within the unceded lands of the Whadjuk people of the Noongar Nation. We pay our respects and offer our gratitude to Elders past and present, and to those emerging leaders in the community. We acknowledge all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and the importance of their care and continued connection to culture, community and Country.

Always was, always will be.

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Diana Baker Smith

Falling Towards Another (A Score for the Void)

Falling Towards Another (A Score for the Void)

Falling Towards Another (A Score for the Void) by Gadigal (Sydney)-based artist Diana Baker Smith is the second Judy Wheeler Commission, PICA’s annual series of site-specific works that respond to the history and site of PICA. 

For this new commission, Baker Smith has created a graphic score and live performance in response to PICA’s iconic first-floor mezzanine level. The balcony corridor overlooks PICA’s Central Gallery and acts as an internal circulation loop, linking the administrative offices with shared spaces and artist studios.  

Illustrated at scale across the vast expanse of PICA’s mezzanine walls, Baker Smith’s score draws on PICA’s historical archive of architectural drawings and photographs of the building. Baker Smith considers the building a historical palimpsest, an accumulation of architectural adaptations that extend from its original construction in 1896 as the Government School to its present-day establishment as a contemporary art space (PICA). Consisting of trailing ellipsis points and lines painted directly onto the walls, Falling Towards Another (A Score for the Void) prompts audiences to consider the particularities of this distinctive space and directs our attention towards its historical layers, architectural interventions and absences and reconfigurations. 

For the live performance on Saturday 10 February, Baker Smith collaborated with Boorloo-based choreographer, Sofie Burgoyne and local dancers Emma Fishwick and Isabella Stone. The title of the work, Falling Towards Another, operates as a movement score for this live performance with the push and pull movement of the two performers held with a single costume made in collaboration with designer Leah Giblin. 

About the Artist

Diana Baker Smith is an Australian artist based on Gadigal land in Sydney. Her artistic practice is collaborative, research-driven and underpinned by feminist methods. Baker Smith’s recent projects engage with art historiography and its fiction, spanning moving images, performance, photography and text. Baker Smith is a member of the art collective Barbara Cleveland and holds a PhD from the University of NSW, where she is a lecturer in the School of Art and Design. Her recent solo and collaborative projects have been exhibited at the National Gallery of Australia, Canberra, Art Gallery of NSW, Sydney, Hayward Gallery, London and Padiglione d’Arte Contemporanea, Milan. 

Dancers: Sofie Burgoyne, Emma Fishwick, Isabella Stone

Choreography: Diana Baker Smith, Sofie Burgoyne

Textile consultant: Leah Giblin

Design assistance:  Zoe Gojnich, Kait Polkinghorne

Clothing: Kowtow

 


Supporters

The Judy Wheeler Commission is made possible by the generosity of the Simpson Family.