A world, a city that appeared identical to its former self, but wasn’t: Melbourne’s 112 day lockdown of 2020. The city became a place of invisible self-regulated boundaries, yet equally surveilled and policed, tangibly. The locked down city became a microcosm of photographic study as the city became – for those months – dystopian, sci-fi in real-time, a Foucauldian paradigm. The entropics of architecture, botany, technology, geology frozen in Silurian time – ongoing interests – became meditations within a restricted radius.
While humans are absent from the images, their presence is manifest in each of them: their marks, artefacts, creations and cultivations. Similarly, their destructive forces, disfigurements and modifications of the natural – and civic – world are registered, almost overwhelmingly, as a series of photographic fragments.
“I read a science fiction story a long time ago where these people are exploring space and they finally find this habitable planet—and it turns out to be identical to Earth in every detail. And I thought that was the supreme irony: that they’d originally left to find something better and arrived in the end—which was actually the same place.”
All images ©Nicholas Hubicki