Giramondo, $39.95 pb, 560 pp, 9781925818208
Heide is the final instalment of an epic trilogy that began with 24 Hours (1996) and was followed by Fitzroy: A biography (2015). It also marks a departure for Π.O. In this third volume (the only one in the trilogy not to be self-published), the unofficial poet laureate of Fitzroy turns his attention away from the migrant and working-class characters of his beloved suburb toward the names that line the bookshelves and gallery walls of the nation’s most august institutions. In more than 500 pages of verse, Heide plots the history, and colonial prehistory, of the artistic milieu that gathered at Sunday and John Reed’s property in Heidelberg. The book’s concern with institutional memory aligns it with Alexander Sokurov’s Russian Ark (2002), a film famous for its unblinking gaze down the corridors of the Winter Palace in the Hermitage Museum. Both works share an architecture of historical imagination in which the museum becomes a memory palace where the artist’s acts of listening and recording conserve without being conservative.