Cathedral is an audio-visual installation proposed for the unnamed laneway running between Little Collins Street and St James Lane. This site marks the original location of St James Old Cathedral, Melbourne’s first church, which was relocated from this site to its present location near Flagstaff in 1913.

The installation consists of a photographic projection of the interior of the cathedral onto the pavement and buildings framing the laneway, at the exact location where the church once stood. This projection is accompanied by an intermittent recording of the cathedral’s bells ringing.

The medium of installation has been carefully chosen to engage the audience in a particular way. The use of visual projections and sound recordings invoke the former cathedral’s presence in a way that is spectral and disembodied. The light and sound of the installation will leak out of the laneway, drawing pedestrians into a space that they would otherwise pass by.

Within the context of the city’s many laneways, the site for this installation is noteworthy for several reasons. As a place with no name, it is literally non-descript: locatable only through reference to other places. It is also a rare example of a laneway that was created relatively recently, and in this way runs counter to the dominant trend of removing laneways as part of the process of consolidating sites to increase their commercial viability.

Year: 2008.