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April 16, 2018 | by  | in Opinion | [ssba]

Access Denied – Invisible City

“Invisible City”, a piece of sculpture situated on Lambton Quay, has two aluminium walls with giant, raised braille dots that contain a hidden message. Created by Anton Parsons in collaboration with author Peter Beatson, the poem written in braille is an epitaph for death of Beatson’s guide dog, and the momentous adjustment that is returning to life without a guide that is able to react to the visual world around them.

The art has a message, but only one that the smallest minority of people can read, those who can read visual braille. This poses the question: why there is no plaque with the actual, regular sized braille in front of the piece, so that all braille readers can interact with it? The piece meant to deny the viewer access, however loses sight of the fact that many blind people are continually denied access to art, media, and greater society, and cannot interact with the art that speaks of their own experience.

Invisible City

The word made flesh can bleed.

Am I bound or freed?

Embracing visual silence


I breed a virtual skin of signs

across the void

but when the fault line ruptures

the word made flesh will bleed.

By the unseen quay

I plant this graven seed

betrayed by the wind

my sonic charts destroyed

tethered sign to skin

I am both bound and freed.

  • Peter Beatson

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