Month: May 2013

If You Were to Work Here at The War Memorial Museum

If You Were To Work Here: the Mood in the Museum. Peter Robinson. Auckland War Memorial Museum. 9th May Mood Day Parade. #500 Words RED YELLOW GREEN and BLUE. Workers in a makeshift production line. Afternoon shift for me. Student commonality room. Spaceship radio control “Where to people?” One day to work. Felt and fluffy Momentum increase Dream conversations and discussions What a beautiful person, I love your vivid dream talks. One said that she will buy your children’s book. Looks very promising… Method acknowledged, stand and pull down. Yes: 4hours And 3and ½ poles done buddy Guess what colour Elly? Correct………. BLUES CLUE. My mood must be on point Or a point that is colourblind, Thankfully my fingers didn’t split Sweaty feet, the space reminded me of my mother’s factory job, so comfort seem to annihilated the worries of my own. My reward for my time was a colourful stick made by Cordelle’s little brother. Thank you Cordelle’s little brother. It was meant to be. The day of the parade Gathered the peeps at …

The Glass Menagerie at Selwyn Theatre

The Glass Menagerie. Auckland Theatre Company. Selwyn Theatre. 16th May – 8th June. We begin in the grayscale world of American industry: the smoky stage is dressed with large industrial crates, furniture covered in dust cloths and a long bare wall stretching across the upstage area. As Tom leads us into the world of his memory, the stage transforms into the sepia-toned world of 1930’s St. Louis. The set featured a revolving stage (which seems to be in vogue in Auckland Theatre), which was executed perfectly and served the action of the play. It both confined the Wingfield’s world to the point of claustrophobia and allowed the audience a fascinating opportunity to examine their world from every angle and with each revolution, the tension and psychology of the world wound tighter. Much like the figurines in Laura’s menagerie, the Wingfields too are under a bell jar, their fragility on show for the entire audience to examine closer through the lens of Tom’s memory. Throughout the play, we are treated to projections (across the crates and …

Tongan Ark at Elam Lecture Theatre

Paul Janman. Tongan Ark. Elam Lecture Theatre. 3rd May. Directed and produced by Elam’s own Paul and Echo Janman, the long-awaited Elam screening of Tongan Ark has arrived! Elam Lecture Theatre Friday May 3rd, 5:30pm #500 Words Tongan Ark is a documentary about the late Tongan scholar Futa Helu a philosopher and a follower of the pre-Socratic thinker Heraclitus, which Helu had learnt about while studying at Sydney in the 1950s. Helu studied philosophy, literature and mathematics and then returned to Tonga after his time overseas. I had seen flyers about this documentary and I had always wanted to watch this film since it was released in 2012. So when it was announced that this documentary would be screening at Elam in the Lecture theatre, I knew this was my only chance to watch this film. As part of the Tuakana exhibition at Projectspace, titled: “Don’t I know you?” which opened on the 30th of April to the 11th of May, it was great to acknowledge the support for Maori and Pacific students at Elam. …

More Photographs of Buildings and Food at Snow White Gallery

More Photographs of Buildings and Food. Group Show. Snow White Gallery. May Snow White Gallery is a small and intimate space which is hidden away in Pt Chevalier at Unitec’s campus. Although relatively overlooked the gallery hosts a wide range of interesting and engaging exhibitions and as a graduate of Unitec I have been privy to almost all of these. The current offering is a group show called More photographs of Buildings and Food which as the title suggests is about exactly that. The exhibition features work from established artists who are also on the teaching staff at Unitec – there is a range of themes and concepts explored throughout which feels a little random at times but there are some definite standouts. Edith Amituanai’s large scale photograph of two young girls, dressed formally in matching black dresses attracts the eye immediately. There is a familiarity to Amituanai’s images, she is inspired by her surroundings and the people that inhabit it and although we may not know exactly what is going on or come from …

Angels and Aristocrats at Auckland Art Gallery

Angels and Aristocrats. Curated by Mary Kisler. Auckland Art Gallery. Now till June 10. When Angels & Aristocrats (Auckland Art Gallery until June 10, free entry) was announced, I groaned collectively with Auckland’s art-enthused youth. Yet another exhibition to cater to the Baby-boomers whose idea of art fits very neatly inside a gilded frame. I am thrilled to report to you today that I was wrong. There is one reason for this: Mary Kisler (AAG’s Senior Curator of the Mackelvie Collection of International Art). Kisler’s curation leads you through the Level One Exhibition Spaces whilst simultaneously navigating you through Early European Art in its many forms. We are greeted by Marco d’Oggioni’s Madonna & Child (c. 1490) – you know it’s going to be good from then. This sensitive and technically faultless work sets the tone for first room; a breathtaking collection of religious works. The inclusion of post-Reformation Dutch works thoughtfully completed the presentation of devotional art in Europe. Next we’re led through a cluttered landscapes room (the number of works in this room …

Model Home at Auckland Art Gallery

The beauty of triennials is the influx of international contemporary art, curators and critics to a city. However the risk is the ability of this influx to translate ideas and often pre-existing work in a new country. Every landscape possesses a different social and political situation, shifting pre-existing semiotics. Having to deal with kiwi social constructs completely opposing those of Shanghai is something Michael Lin’s Triennial work ‘Model Home’ at the Auckland Art Gallery has to confront. The work very explicitly talks about the nature of the Chinese labour force. Perhaps about both the invisible structures and the unseen people constructing them. By the construction workers sleeping in the house during construction, the original also dealt with the social situation of these migrant workers squatting in these spaces. Thus making the experience of installation in fact the work. When bringing an intricate and multifaceted project such as Model Home over to New Zealand, it requires the artist to make some decisions. The biggest decision is prioritising what the works new function will be in the …

Right of Way at Artspace

Right of Way. Janet Lilo. Artspace. 10th May – 11th August. Hey there. I am having a lot of trouble figuring out this piece of writing for Janet Lilo’s Triennial work. I want to try and talk about the kindness and respect shown to us volunteers by Janet and the Artspace crew when helping install the work the other day. Janet showed a genuine interest in us volunteers, giving flowers and notes tailored to what she had learned about us in the short period she had known us. This exchange of time for appreciation that took place is something I keep thinking about lately. The problem I feel is that addressing the appreciation specifically in Janet’s install sort of implies that appreciation usually does not occur in these situations. Like everyone else treats you in a horrible and demeaning way, forcing you to do laborious tasks with no acknowledgement or payment, purely for their own gain. I guess this must happen, I have just been lucky enough to not experience it myself. What I have …

Battle of the Bastards at Basement Theatre.

Battle of the Bastards. David Ladderman. Basement Theatre. 27th April – 4th May. The NZ Comedy Festival is both a mecca for comics nationwide and an opportunity for audiences to sample a smorgasbord of the hottest hilarity around. Last week I chose David Ladderman’s “Battle of the Bastards” and he did not disappoint. This show is King Lear served in bite-sized pieces with lashings of spicy sauce (AKA wit) and some pretty impressive juggling skills to boot. Condensing King Lear into a 55 minute comedy is no mean feat. Those who aren’t familiar with it… well, it’s something Ladderman constantly reminded the audience, “You don’t need to know”. He quickly filled us in and spent the majority of the time on Edmund, who plots to get his legitimate brother and father (an Earl) dead & gone so he can get all the money and cars and babes and that. Classic domestic drama, right? Ladderman told all of this in record time with so many puns that it hurt and his audience goading was just the …

The Factory at Q Theatre

The Factory. Kila Kokonut Krew. Q Theatre. 6th – 24th March. On christmas morning I open this envelope. Everyones watching so I have to give an exaggerated smile before I even realize what it is. First thing I notice is that it’s a single ticket, great. Then I see my sister has one too. We have no idea what it is, just that we’re going to Q Theatre to watch to token Pacific play of the Auckland Arts Festival. We just finished round the bays so we’re exhausted, my biggest anxiety; to not fall asleep. My biggest excitement; to see my friend who works at Q. But Twitter told me it was going to be good. And then they sang. The haunting vocals filled the theatre and chilled my body. I knew it was going to be good. Pacific New Zealand History is an obsession. When the Kila Kokonut Krew comes out on the dark days for the Pacific diaspora you can’t help but assume it will be an inappropriately humorous take on someones journey …