Using 100 square metres of barrier mesh, 35 kilometres of barricade tape and 2,500 cable ties, anonymous street artists wrapped 1500 public facilities in parks, footpaths and stations across Melbourne, Australia during the lockdown in 2020 to create Wrapt, a public art streetscape. This method of wrapping may be the largest spread collaborative artwork created during ISO, with a nod to the late Christo who famously covered the Reichstag in Berlin and the Pont-Neuf in Paris with reams of cloth. However, in contrast to his artworks that “brought people together” around the world, the Melbourne installations inspire less contact between people.
The draping of highly visible, fluorescent obstructions on drinking fountains, playgrounds and rest areas helped to re-contextualise and de-familiarise well-known structures to obscure the essential form and shape of those amenities as foreign objects in and of themselves. Passersby experienced a shift in their commonplace perspective of the landscape by having limitations – both visual and physical – imposed upon the viewing process. This selective imposition also brought about new and unexpected revelations about the character, charm and culture of the world’s once most liveable city.