Month: June 2013

The Lab at the Auckland Art Gallery

The Lab. Hou Hanru. Auckland Art Gallery. 10th May – 11th August. It’s one thing for art to be educational. But is education that looks like education art too? ‘The Lab’ in the top floor of the Auckland Art Gallery is a space run between the architecture and spacial design schools within Unitec, The University of Auckland and AUT. The role of an artist assumes the role of the educator in that an artist believes they have an idea, process or relationship that is worth discussion and thus brings it to an audience attempting to transfer or educate the ideas. Artist – art – audience are then inseparable equal components of the work, and the challenge becomes how to transfer ideas from the artist to the audience through the art, so it looks like artist – idea – audience, and then to place this in the notion of artist as educator it becomes; teacher – idea – student. If the transference of knowledge is the key factor then it means that questions of accessibility and …

Three Colours Blue at Tim Melville Gallery

Three Colours Blue.Tim Melville Gallery Group Show featuring: Linden Simmons, Elliott Collins, Roberta Thornley, Alberto Garcia-Alvarez, Star Gossage, Peter Gouge and Simon McIntyre. June. “Why are you crying?” “Because, you are not.” – Dialogue from Three Colours: Blue Trois Couleurs: Bleu (Three Colours: Blue) is a powerful and at times very confronting film, it is part of a trilogy by Polish filmmaker Krzysztof Kieslowski, each part explores the French Revolution ideals – liberty, equality and fraternity. Bleu explores the idea of emotional liberty and has the main character trying desperately to distance herself from a past that won’t go away after the death of her husband and daughter. There is a scene in the film that will always stand out in my mind, the main character played by Juliette Binoche wanders through a busy street scene to her new apartment – grazing her knuckles purposely on a brick wall along the way, as if to remind and punish herself that she is still alive. She then sets up a blue beaded chandelier – which belonged …

WWJD? Breakfast with Janet Lilo

WW..D? Is an interview segment where we get to know awesome people that are a part of the creative community in New Zealand. This week we spoke to artist Janet Lilo about life and the Auckland Triennial. Read more for What Would Janet Do? What was your initial response to Hanru’s idea of if I was to live here? My initial response was similar to HomeAKL where I had just finished a body of work looking at Auckland. TBH I know there’s been a lot of funny ideas about ‘aww if you were to live here..’, but I quite liked it. I think it suited me. I have been making a lot of work that has been responding to the locale and I thought that was good. I wasn’t sure how the international artists would respond to it, what they would bring and then what I would bring to that. But the theme is quite a broad general theme, and so when you’re an artist with small time frames it’s quite useful. Less pressure too because you can make work …

Tropical Thunder and Untitled at Fresh Gallery Otara

Tropical Thunder and Untitled. Keg De Souza and Emory Douglas. Fresh Gallery Otara. 10th May – 11th August. Keg de Souza works got the best of my attention with this ‘bouncy castle-like’ structure inflated with air, colourful like my nana’s living room and amusing like a child’s 5th birthday party some place in Otara. De Souza obviously responded to the life in Otara. Someone must have taken her to the Otara Flea Markets, as I recall it being the ‘marketing place of the Pasifika community’. I really enjoyed her observation of the coffee table centered in the middle of this inflatable plastic table cloth structure. De Souza referenced the stereotypical fizzy drinks. As much as I enjoy seeing this installation, I am embarrased, my family are in these observations. The response reminds me of our low-income, buy bulk/buy cheap mentality, that our parents aren’t encouraging our children and teenagers to eat and drink properly. That this fizzy drink age is acceptable? Does De Souza think this? Is this new to her? Can she relate? I’m …

Haussmann & Untitled at The Auckland Art Gallery

Photo Credits: Natasha Matila-Smith Haussmann & Untitled. Angela Mesiti & Luke Willis Thompson. Auckland Art Gallery. 10th May – 11th August. Relocation relocation relocation. If you were to live here, an apt title for the 5th Auckland Triennial curated by Hou Hanru. If you were to live here, I think, is a way of bridging this gap between lands and cultures, a kind of embodiment as a means of reaching a common empathy for one another. The two works of particular interest to me from the Auckland Art Gallery leg of the Triennial both use this method of relocation to create an entry into different areas of discussion. Angelica Mesiti – an Australian born artist based in Sydney and Paris – has created a performance video titled Prepared Piano for Movers (Haussmann) (2012) of two men carrying a piano up a stairwell. The piano has been filled with metal objects on pendulums so that as the movers ascend with the piano, the movement and the instrument create an ‘avant garde score’. The video alludes to …

Untouched as Unknown and Some Time at Corban Estate Arts Centre

Untouched as Unknown and Some Time. Jae Hoon Lee and Gabby O’Connor. Corban Estate Arts Centre. 17 May – 16 June. I approached the latest show at Corban Estate Arts Centre with an open mind, in all honesty I had only known of Gabby O’Connor’s work from the publicity on the Boosted website as the very first project to be completely funded. I arrived just as the doors opened, which allowed me to enter the room and experience her installation without the noise and distractions of other people. My initial thought was that it really did feel like I had walked into an ice cave – dark blues and whites, little light and an eerie stillness filled the space. I blew out my breath at one point as if to check that I had not in fact been transported elsewhere. The sheer size and effort that would have been put into creating the installation is impressive, it almost feels as though you have to be quiet in the room for fear of causing it to …

Shu Tu Tong Gui at George Fraser Gallery

Shu Tu Tong Gui. Yangjiang. George Fraser Gallery. 10th May – 11th August. Enter. Feeling guilty about missing their scheduled event. Showing up with a group of friends during another (more private) tea ceremony. Made our way into the back room. Projections, outlines, ink + calligraphy brushes. Start painting. Start talking. Black ink on white wall. Proximity of potential strangers is irrelevant. Just keep the ink inside the lines. And if you screw up – It doesn’t matter: water takes the mistakes away. Would you like some tea? Is that even a question? Again the conversation opens (in multiple languages) about tradition, life, and culture. Friends I should have known a while ago only now begin to come into focus. It only took four years and some tea. For that friend to no longer be a stranger. Wait – was that art? Is that still even a relevant question, or just something to redirect attention? This question rolls around in my mind every time a friend / family member / colleague / stranger asks me …