Month: December 2016

Letter from the editor: Considering natural life cycles of the #

I finished installing my work quite quickly for our group exhibition. I went into the other gallery space to see what the rest of my friends/the artists were doing. Louisa Afoa had a film triptych already installed. I sat down to watch it. I didn’t expect to have any strong feelings toward or against the work. It was more or less a way to spend time. Surprisingly, siting on that ply wood bench turned out to be one of those gushy defining moments that everyone within the arts industry has. That moment when seeing something reaffirms why you too are involved in the arts. It’s not that the work itself was necessarily great—it was after all a student exhibition—but more a moment of realising what art can do. HomeAKL the now infamous Pacific art exhibition at Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki opened the night after our show, so our opening by coincidence had a really good turn out. Despite that great turn out I knew that no one would write about this work that …

Morning musings

It’s 8.46am on a Wednesday morning and I’m siting inside one of the new cafes that has popped up on Karangahape Road. I’m drinking a flat white because they don’t make mocha’s here. My breakfast is in my bag. I’m balling on a budget. There are two other people that are on their Mac Books. I make person number three. The furniture is that kind of Ikea-wooden-exposed-table-top type thing. The people coming inside are young and trendy looking. Next door is the new cookie place that sells American style cookies for $3.50 (the Snickers and Nutella are my favourite). The South Auckland girls that go to Auckland Girls’ Grammar are making tracks to school. From my seat I can see the rainbow flags above family bar. I remember my first time clubbing on K Road. Wasted, blurs of faces, lights and music that you feel vibrating in your body. Kebabs are the best at 4am. The Samoan consulate has moved to Mangere. I don’t see as many Pacific people go into the building anymore. Recently I …

Fleshbag at Skinroom

The essentialists are having a hard time of it these days. It began with Simone de Beauvoir and her assertion that Susan was of the female “persuasion”. Later Foucault did some archaeological digging to expose the fabricated nature of sexuality, and theorists like Judith Butler have carried on the torch to do with gender flexibility.   In art circles the spotlight gaze has been firmly turned around and trained on the viewer. Cindy Sherman is probably the quintessential artist who has done more than most to explore the issue of the chameleon nature of nature, the body, the role play of gender, and Fleshbag, a show currently running at Skinroom Gallery in Hamilton, continues that investigation. This is evident particularly in the work of LarzRanda/Mainard Larkin. With titles like I am who I am and Yesterday when I was younger, this transgender artist plays with the internet medium and the phenomenon of the selfie to probe the manipulation of image and identity using 1990’s graphics and digital devices to render the self as now male, now female, …