Occupy/Preoccupy was performed on the forecourt of the State Library of Victoria on a busy Friday at peak hour. To occupy a space and paradoxically be pre-occupied by it was a reflection on loss and longing.

The place where my father was most present, our home in suburban Victoria, is no longer a place I can return to. The traces that facilitate and trigger my remembering are his clothes I salvaged after his death. Wearing layers of his suits in a performance in a public space brought out a deep sense of vulnerability, as I became preoccupied and at times en-tranced in recalling and reconnecting to his spirit. Oscillating between my inner world and the myriad of memories that arose, and juxtaposed against a public and somewhat impersonal and noisy outer world around me, emphasized the tension between the tenderness of being cocooned in his clothes and the disparity of exposing my inner feelings in public. Surrendering to the harshness of the place exposed a deeper vulnerability. 


Presented at Mapping Melbourne Festival 2014

Images: Eelin Cheah


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