Month: January 2015

ELECTIONS 2014 at RM Gallery

Reflections on ELECTIONS 2014 As the year gets well under way, I’d like to take a bit of space to briefly and personally acknowledge ELECTIONS 2014, an exhibition and series of events which took place at RM, 307 Karangahape Road, from the 3rd – 20th of September 2014. Leading up to September 20, RM was flooded with a sustained and memorable energy that doesn’t usually flow so freely in spaces kept for art. Organisers Eleanor Cooper and Ella Grace McPherson-Newton tactfully seized upon the mood and momentum of the general election, bringing together a huge number of energetic and thoughtful people who were perhaps both doggedly optimistic as well as hopelessly realistic about the repercussions of our current political situation. For the duration of the show, RM’s archive room became a broadcasting studio for Radio NFA (No Fixed Abode), a group whose simple yet powerfully enacted motto is ‘homeless doesn’t mean hopeless’. On opening night, NFA members and friends welcomed everyone with a mihi and waiata before the space filled with the joyful sounds of …

Creamy Psychology

Creamy Todd Yvonne’s Todd’s survey exhibition at City Gallery Wellington Creamy Psychology is both seductive and creepy; two words which also describe Todd’s practice at large. I’ve always liked it but have never been sure why. Off-kilter scenes featuring women on the verge of tears or in tears or post tears, surreal compositions of plumbing pipes, a pregnant lady in space, dolled up young pageant girls, women stoically returning your voyeur’s gaze, dressed in garb from the 70s and 80s; all uncanny and uncomfortable. This is the first time City Gallery has given as much space to one artist and Todd has made sure there is a lot to see. Some rooms worked better than others. At times it felt as though I was looking at “fillers”; as in those works (like filler songs on an album) were a bit samey or seemingly weak in comparison to the majority of the exhibition. Perhaps a smaller number of photographs in those areas, with more breathing space, would have been more effective. I’m not usually a fan …

Natasha Matila-Smith on dicks: We can’t all have dicks

Part Three We can’t all have dicks. Making art with and about the body has been somewhat of a superpower for some female artists.  This has been a successful strategy in getting people to notice that yes, women do have the right to govern and exploit their own bodies as they see fit, furthermore challenging societal norms about the issue of consent. Artists like Carolee Schneemann, Marina Abramovic and Tracey Emin are exemplars of the autobiographical female nude; an idea that we seem to have associated with some kind of female artist stereotype – that moody irrational hysterical female that simply must express their sexual issues and female-ness through their own biological sex.  Even though we have come to an era where female artists aren’t restricted to this archetype, a couple of questions have come about because there are still so many artists working in this mode.   Have we covered everything we need to cover in regards to female personal identity, sex and the body? I find myself quite uninterested in works featuring classically …