On the west side of Sydney Road, just north of Blyth Street, there’s an old barber’s shop. In it, a chair faces a mirror. Behind the chair, a couple of old vinyl covered seats. No magazines, no newspapers. Oddly, in the window, one or two cans of shaving cream and a pack of disposable razors. Whether there’s a counter, or cash-register it’s difficult to tell. The lights are never on and the place quite possibly deserted.
There are shops like this throughout Melbourne’s inner suburbs, though next to the newer ones they are almost impossible to see. First things become impossible to the eye, then they disappear. In the up-to-the-minute hairdresser across the road, we are blind to the old shop. But whilst it still stands, it speaks. And not of the past, but of the future; of the fact that what is visible now need not be visible for all time; that the always-already-the-same is a spell to be broken; that one day things might, and seemingly against all odds, be otherwise.
Frozen in time, the old shop explodes it.