Ruark Lewis with Loma Bridge
Curated by Melissa Laing

26 November 2010 – 23 December 2010
St Paul St Gallery One

The work began when internationally renowned anthropologist Vivienne Kondos and sociologist Alex Kondos put their Paddington terrace house on the market, undertaking two stages of emptying. The first was a process real estate agents call decluttering, striping back the lived environment so that potential purchasers can imagine themselves in it. The second was the post sale process of departure, turning the home filled with the accumulated ephemera of living and the patina of over thirty years of anthropological and social research into an empty house. Over a short period of five weeks Ruark Lewis and Loma Bridge filmed and photographed this emptying process until the house was completely bare.

Against this intimate portrait of their history through the (de)construction of their household Ruark has undertaken a process of translating or transcribing Vivienne Kondos’ explorations of the households of others into a visual and audible poetics using three essays from her recent book On the Ethos of Hindu Women, Issues, Taboos and forms of Expression, (Kathmandu: Mandala Publications, 2004) – ‘The Enigma of Sati’, ‘A Triumphant Woman?’ and ‘Fire’.

Ruark Lewis, (born: 1960), is a visual artist and writer producing in a wide range of media such as painting, drawing, installation, artists-books, public art, theatre, performances, audio and video works. His art tends toward conceptual language, exploring the poetics of spatial history, involving chance procedures and architectural strategies of improvisation. In 2006 he participated in the Biennale of Sydney. In 2007 at Carriageworks he worked with the choreographer Alan Schacher on The Babel Project, an installation Homeland Illuminationswith Jonathan Jones and made a site-specific installation Post-Museum Singapore called An Index of Kindness. In 2008 he created a public art installation and sound work Euphemismsfor The Intimate Enemy (with composer Rainer Linz) for the City of Toronto in Nuit Blanche Festivaland International Electroacoustic & Polymedia Art Festival Belgrade.


  • In My Empty House, Studies in Material Thinking, Volume 05, 2011, (Im)materialising Time

Photos courtesy St Paul St Gallery