I have already written about how intrigued I was to see inside Willow Court (willow court) during Dark Mofo.
As usual the information given to the public regarding actual festival events is cryptic. This years program had 12 pages of large photos followed by the same listings as their website. For this Willow Court exhibition the information was that "Mike Parr seminal Australian performance artist pushed to him limits in and around the grounds of the former Royal Derwent Hospital". There was also an aspect called 'Entry by Mirror Only' which is why you see mirrors in the photos. Each entrant was meant to leave a mirror behind.
I expected this would be harsh performance art. I like a lot of performance art, but I feel I have had enough harsh experiences in my life that I do not need to be jarred or reminded about them. I skipped the performance itself. Still, I didn't expect the any of the buildings to be as creepy as they were-
I found the smaller rooms (cell like) and the shower blocks (that brought to mind horrible hydrotherapy scenes in many a portrayal of "taming female hysteria" from books, films, and television) to be especially nightmarish. I do not think I would have be able to sit through anything additional.
The buildings seemed abandoned. I expected an organized exit, A business that had cleared out, cleaned up and left its premises empty.
Instead there was a lot of possum shit, dirt, debris, broken ceiling tiles, and a general air of danger (and not the good kind).
Although I only use an iphone, normally my photos come out fairly well- none of the photos I took inside the Willow Court building came out any better than the two above. I suppose the light was lower than I perceived.
I am not a 'ghost' person. I like the idea just fine as a literary device but as an actual mythology-? No. Yet, I have to say there are buildings there that I could only imagine grazing to the ground and rebuilding. I thought I would find a neglected industrial space that just needed to be cleaned and re-purposed.
My curiosity however is satisfied.
I didn't even leave my mirror behind, I did not want to add trash to misery, which was the thought that came to mind when I thought about leaving my small compact.