Ruined Roads

Ruined Roads was an installation of second-hand classic books laid as a walkway, which audiences were invited to use. Conceptually multilayered, Ruined Roads offers a commentary on how classic books often function as symbols of canonised sacred wisdom in western culture. Many of us do not dare desecrate them, yet we have a history of willingly damaging symbols of sacred wisdom from ‘othered’ cultures.

Ruined Roads also reflects on Jessica Raschke’s experience of growing up in the highly urbanised and industrialised western suburbs of Melbourne (Victoria, Australia), then moving to the rural and bucolic Southern Highlands (NSW, Australia). Now that she is inculcated to expect soil rather than concrete beneath her feet, Raschke often experiences a kind of cognitive dissonance when she realises that – in urban settings – her feet are rarely in contact with the land. Instead, they are almost always in contact with concrete. The layers of concrete separate us from the land, arguably the greatest source of wisdom available to us.

With such thoughts in mind, did audiences choose to walk on the Ruined Roads? If so, what responses were elicited?