Month: May 2013

Foreigners Everywhere at Auckland Art Gallery

Claire Fontaine. Foreigners Everywhere. Auckland Art Gallery. 10th May – 11 August. Auckland 5th Triennial Tama’ese lenei. Étrangers partout. Kei nga wāhi katoa a tauiwi. I first thought my eyesight was failing me, until I realised each of the six vibrant neon signs were actually in an array of different languages. Searching for something I could understand, a pang of guilt struck when I looked to the Māori phrase; unable to decipher a meaning, I turned to the French instead. Foreigners everywhere. It’s a pretty strong statement, yet it didn’t have the effect on me that I thought it would: that excited feeling of revelation when confronted with a novel and plainly perceptive idea. Even the initial inability to understand what was being said was not as frustrating as expected. The feeling of foreignness settled gently rather than dramatically arriving. Was this because of my own travelling experiences, having gone days without being able to understand a single piece of my surroundings? Or was it something more universal? It’s no secret Auckland is a multicultural …

Return to Sender at Papakura Art Gallery

Return to sender curated by Cora Allan Wickcliffe. Papakura Art Gallery. 20 April – 1 June. I walked into the room and she was standing there, capturing my attention, and holding my gaze. I was drawn to her. There was something about her that I could not escape and it took me a while to really put my finger on exactly what that was. Then it struck me: Power. I become unaware of my surroundings, it was just she and I. I wondered if that was how she felt standing there, in that moment, if she was aware of them. They awkwardly walked past her. I was very aware of the other. I was othered. Was she? Artist. Storyteller. Writer. Inquisitive mind that notices the little things. I am drawn to that which is often overlooked. It is for this very reason that what I take from a show is more often than not a series of sporadic thoughts that send me off on a tangent. It is for this very reason that the way …

Converted Rebels With(out) A Cause. All Fresco at K Road

Converted Rebels With(out) A Cause. All Fresco. K Road. 2nd – 5th May. Street art has a natural allure to it – it’s bright, provocative, easily accessible, and usually illegal. Charismatic with a streak of danger, you could call it the bad boy of the art world. So it’s not hard to understand why First Thursdays decided to colour the streets of Auckland recently with a variety of street artists in the All Fresco exhibition. As expected, the result was beautiful. A mishmash of colour and culture exploded over the walls of Saint Kevin’s Arcade and Cross Street, with identity and individual strength being celebrated alongside environmentalism and political activism. The poetics were there (the big bad wolf backing down against a sea of adversaries), as was the founding tool of this art form (criticality of mass culture), and yet there was still something missing from the experience. The closest I can describe it is the thrill. The bad boy had brought in his homework on time and though he hadn’t converted entirely, he was …

Melancholia & Concept at O-Rex

Melancholia & Concept. Kathy Barber & Diane Scott. O Rex. 7-25 May. Recently I’ve been considering if openings are really the best time to come and see a show. The art is becomes less of the main feature and the star of the show really is the different kinds of free alcohol provided to accompany your experience. I don’t know who curated the show but I was drawn into the plywood shelves, the coffee brown chair and coffee table set, and the rug that complemented them – it is very problematic when the focus is meant to be on the work of two talented artists, but all I am concerned with are drinks and the well crafted designer furniture. Melancholia is the work of Kathy Barber, situated left of the gallery and Concept , on the right, features the work of Diane Scott. Without reading much about the actual meanings behind the work, I feel that this is the strangest combination of artists. While both are painters, Melancholia is on a completely different note. Was …

Goldin+Senneby at Artspace

Goldin+Senneby at Artspace With Stephen Bain (actor), Anna Heymowska (set designer), John Hjerpe (graphic designer), Paul Leong (investment banker), Jo Randerson (playwright) and Ybodon (compter scientist). 21 March-20 April, 2013 M&A Rehearsals with Stephen Bain Saturday April 13 1 Financial burdens seem to accumulate the clouds that surround my head. Ongoing as I left the screening of ‘The Society of The Spectacle’ Cloudy eyed as I entered the gallery. Lines with coloured tape and violent red paint smothered itself onto the walls. Markings of an event that took place encouraged its worthiness of becoming HARD WORK. Discussions were on the way as I happened to arrive just in time for the performance. “Please grab a folder from the pile on the table” 12 steps to the left and there was a table stacked with brown folders all with a script inside, across the room the M&A (Mergers and Acquisitions) was presented in a clear case which remains untouched. M&A Plans that contains a developed trading strategy which nobody can access. Choice was mine, favor for …