Construction and Destruction

26 April 2022 - 20 May 2022
Image: COLLIDER, [Construction and destruction] (detail), 2021. Courtesy the artists.

Image: COLLIDER, Construction and destruction (detail), 2021. Courtesy the artists.


26 April 2022 - 20 May 2022


First Site Gallery [i]
Basement, 344 Swanston St, Melbourne
Tue – Fri, 11am – 5pm




Wheelchair access

Construction and Destruction is a new project by Naarm-based collective COLLIDER, which explores the impact of human inhabitation.

In 1879, John Coode recommended a series of alterations to the Maribyrnong and Birrarung rivers. The Maribyrnong was deconstructed and re-routed to prevent the frequent and necessary flooding of the area. Once a vast wetland, the area is now host to concrete factories, oil storage facilities and a sugar processing port. The activity of industry silences the echoes of a once thriving natural ecosystem.

In an attempt to question their own settler histories, COLLIDER began to retrace the First Ecologies of the Maribyrnong and Birrarung river systems. In doing so, they found enormous acts of violence committed against the First Ecologies of these systems hiding in plain sight; expertly forgotten. Like so many aspects of colonisation, the everlasting and irreversible effects on these systems are disturbingly quiet and largely unquestioned.

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Founding Partners
  • Bowness Family Foundation
  • Naomi Milgrom Foundation
Major Government Partners
  • City of Melbourne Arts Grants Program
  • Creative Victoria
Major Partners
  • Maddocks

PHOTO Australia respectfully acknowledges the traditional custodians of the lands upon which we work and live, and the rich and diverse Indigenous cultures across what is now called Australia. For over 60,000 years, Indigenous arts and culture have thrived on this sacred land, and we honour Elders and cultural leaders past and present. This was, and always will be, Aboriginal land.

01–24 March