Unfinished monument to Batman's Treaty, 2011

An ongoing action involving the distribution of off-set printed A4 paper plaques; to be attached, framed or unframed, to the chimneys in people's living rooms.

Exh: First iteration of the action at Federation Square, Melbourne, as part of the finalists exhibition of the 2011 Melbourne Prize for Urban Sculpture, also including Bianca Hester, Isaac Gruner and Lucas Maddock, Sonia Leber and David Chesworth, Clive Murray-White, Stuart Ringholt, 7 — 21 November, Federation Square, Melbourne.


Unfinished monument to Batman’s Treaty (2011–) is an ongoing public sculpture project engaging Batman’s Treaty, its history and its meanings. The work takes as its starting point Melbourne’s first chimney, the chimney built for John Batman by William Buckley. The central component of Unfinished monument is one A4 sheet of paper, a sheet of paper which functions as a monument plaque (see below). Melbournians are invited to attach these plaques to the chimneys in their own living rooms. In this way, the city’s chimneys are gradually re-inscribed as commemorations of the city’s first chimney, becoming parts of an ever-growing monument to the city’s conflicted origins, potentially as vast as the city itself.


Unfinished monument grapples with the complex meanings of Batman’s Treaty through the form of the hearth, implicating the Treaty and its ramifications in the most intimate and convivial spaces of our urban environment, our living rooms.

The first iteration of this ongoing action took place over two weeks at Federation Square, Melbourne, as part of the finalists exhibition of the Melbourne Prize for Urban Sculpture, during which about 14,000 plaques were distributed by hand, a process which involved many thousands of exchanges and conversations, ranging across history, monuments, chimneys, art and many other subjects.


The A4 paper plaque can be downloaded at the project website. If you would like to participate in this ongoing project, please download the plaque, print it out and attach it to the chimney in your living room. It can be framed in an A4 document frame, or attached to your chimney unframed. Please encourage your friends, family, neighbours and workmates to do the same.

You can email an image of the plaque installed on your own chimney through the project website.

Related work

Towards a monument to Batman's Treaty


This website is currently undergoing significant re-working, which results in occasional glitches and anomalies, which we hope to rectify soon. Designed and edited by Tom Nicholson and Ziga Testen, built by Anthony Kolber using Stacey and Dropbox.