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Alert but not alarmed is based on an existing apartment block in Sydney. It depicts a dysfunctional contemporary ruin exploding with excessive modernist tropes such as drips, Pop brushmarks and melting Mondrian-inspired decorative elements that have been integrated into its architectural scheme.
The title refers to the paranoid exhortations of the Howard government in reaction to potential terrorist threats post 9/11; a time when architecture seemed under imminent threat from within and without – as if contemporary conditions didn’t induce enough anxiety. In this case, however, it is the mutant energy of paint that is detaching itself from its decorative relegation and exploding outward into a toxic urban landscape.
- Darren Wardle