Art + Australia #55_2: Brutalism |

ISSN 0004-301-X
141 pages | Softcover | B&W and colour images 
RRP $19.99 (inc GST) 
August 2020

Editor: Edward Colless
Authors: Edward Colless, Behrouz Boochani, Cait Storr, Toru Yoshikawa, Beth George, Paulius Andriuškevičius, Justin Mallia, Hayley Singer, Lisa Radford, Yhonnie Scarce, Sophie Knezic, Tessa Laird, Terry Smith, Gwynneth Porter, Mark Titmarsh, Isabelle Sully, Vivienne Shark LeWitt

Deep underground on the Finnish island of Olkiluoto, a corporation has been excavating the world’s largest nuclear waste repository. Once filled with its toxic cargo, the site will need to be hermetically sealed in such a way as to avoid contamination of the earth’s surface. This infernal Pandora’s box of a pit would also need to be left inviolate for the time during which that volume of radioactive material would decay into an innocuous state: something like 100,000 years.[1] That’s 50 times longer than the unbroken seal on Tutankhamun’s tomb. Imagine a distant future in which some fragmentary evidence of Olkiluoto’s massive sarcophagus—as a long-forgotten subterranean structure—is encountered by archaeologists studying the remote Anthropocene era, or by treasure hunters with a taste for antique brutalist architecture. Would it not be as archaic and alluringly enigmatic as the monstrous architectural relics discovered by the Antarctic explorers in H.P. Lovecraft’s novella At the Mountains of Madness, explorers who are slaughtered or sent insane by an unnameable evil hidden within the labyrinthine depths of this seemingly deserted Antarctic megalopolis?[2] In a metafictional twist, the novella is a first-person account by a survivor of the doomed expedition, accented with his own hystericised horror and written as a warning ... although one unlikely to be heeded. The temptation to excavate the ruin buried at Olkiluoto—whether for archaeological knowledge, architectural heritage or for tomb raiding—would also be dangerously irresistible...—Without Warning, Edward Colless


8-23_ Without Warning | Edward Colless
24-_33 Exile | Behrouz Boochani
34-39_ Law unto Itself | Cait Storr
40-51_ murmur | Toru Yoshikawa
52-59_ Prospects for a New New Brutalism | Beth George
60-69_ Repurposed Monuments | Paulius Andriuškevičius
70-77_ Fascism, Trump and Architectural Coprophagy | Justin Mallia
80-87_ On the Matters of Alterstories | Hayley Singer
88-109_ The Image is Not Nothing | Lisa Radford, Yhonnie Scarce
110-119_ Omnipotent Flesh | Sophie Knezic
120-129_ Crystal Phallus | Tessa Laird
130-136_ The Post-contemporary Distraction | Terry Smith
138-145_ How brutal, really | Gwynneth Porter
146-149_ Piss off WestConnex | Mark Titmarsh
150-159_ The Sound of Two Hands Thinking | Isabelle Sully
160-169_ Unpopulated | Edward Colless
170-179_ In a Sorry Habit | Vivienne Shark LeWitt


[1] The corporation is called the Olkiluoto Nuclear Power Plant, and the mine is the Onkalo Waste Repository. See Into Eternity: A Film for the Future, Michael Madsen (dir.), Atmo Media Network co-production, Denmark, 2010.

[2] Originally serialised in Astounding Stories, February–April 1936.

Links & Info