SCANZ 2013 residency and exhibition

21 Aug

“Kāinga a roto | Kāinga a waho”
(Home within | Home on the outside)
gallery space + botanic garden proposal

Sonja van Kerkhoff + Sen McGlinn, The Netherlands

See the original proposal in Feb 2012 or the final one in Oct 2012

1. Project description

From the inside out

Both our projects for SCANZ involve being physically positioned inside these sculptures. We will investigate Taranaki architectural domestic interiors as artworks or art statements. In treating lived in spaces as a form of art installation, we will investigate what types of stories or themes we can reveal, discover or suppose, and so in a sense make a sculptural project from the inside out. Then we will present our findings along the exterior walls of the sculpture we plan for Puke Ariki. We will research Māori and Pākeha homes, whare, community centres, etc, using the archives of Puke Ariki as well as via interviews with tangata whenua and visits to existing buildings and sites in Taranaki. Art is primarily about a feeling of immersion, engaging the participant so much that they feel that they are inside the story or image or sound or film. We take this theme of immersion and turn it around to focus on a culture of lived in spaces in a particular place: Taranaki. On the other side of the same walls our video installation Kāinga a roto, to be built in a new form in Puke Ariki incorporating recycled materials from Taranaki, deals with themes related to introspection.
Each of the five videos takes a childhood in rural Taranaki as a starting point (stepping stone), to explore themes such as what is family, what is the border between one’s memory and one’s fantasy, the role or place of individuality, and the role of self reflection in our relationships with the world, be it other people or the world of Tāne.
Our second sculpture intended for Pukekura park (link to a sketch of this) leaves the story open. It is an exoskeleton sculpture intended for being seen from the inside out. You can stand inside the sculpture and see the world through the gaps or in turn be seen by others.
While we are working in Puke Ariki the public will have the opportunity to contribute images of their own or their family’s lived in spaces which will be incorporated into to the evolving installation situated around the kāinga a roto walls. The end result will be a conceptual artwork in response to these findings.

2. An image.
Kainga a roto, 2010 by Sen McGlinn + Sonja van Kerkhoff in Museum Beelden aan Zee, The Hague.Click on this to view it full size.

3. Relevance
We will be taking a scientific approach in the manner that we will research for information in Puke Ariki and other archives and in the sense of how we translate what we have learnt into the two structures we will build. We will use recycled materials or materials that later can be re-used or decompose back into nature. However our main aim will an artistic statement. Each construction will be in response to the theme “Home Within – Home on the Outside”. The construction intended for an interior space will house an existing 5 screen video and sound art work which features locations in Taranaki where Sonja was born. Most imagery is close-up and is intended to give viewers a sense of being ‘in’ nature or at least in close approximately to nature’s ‘skin.’

4. Possible outputs:
A video/sound and sculptural installation as part of an exhibition. Workshops could be given inside this space.
Workshops to be given during the research part of the project where we could set up a studio space in Puke Ariki and the public can also engage with us while we are there. If we use Puke Ariki as a workspace we would give workshops at particular times so the public can participate in these. Likewise if we work at WITT then we could give workshops there for students or for the public. These workshops would be art oriented with a practical aspect. Sonja could also present a paper in relation to practices of sustainability and conceptual art. The construction in Pukekura park could house another work or exist in any location. It could be small (intimate) or like a shelter or room. We could do a pecha kucha presentation of the final project.

Workshop Proposals

Art inside out by Sonja van Kerkhoff

A show and tell lecture by Sonja van Kerkhoff on contemporary artworks that address the theme of interior worlds. The audience will be invited to participate in the questions which are raised. Works such as the films and installations of South African William Kentridge, the London-based Mona Hatoum and the Scandinavian artists Elmgreen & Dragset as well as installations from the 2012 Documenta, Manifesta and Ars Electronica exhibtions will be illustrated and discussed.

The development of organically structured society in the process of globalisation
by Sen McGlinn

This discussion will begin with a broad-brush treatment of changes in global social systems that affect our practical lives, and our world-views. The goal is to provide a big picture, in simple words and without learned academic references, of where we are at, and where change is taking us, as human society on planet earth.

In my _Church and State_ and various articles, I have described the historical separation of the religious and political orders as one part of the process of the differentiation of social spheres, such as economy, science, politics, education, religion and art. This ‘functional differentiation’ has been going on for some centuries. One of its effects has been the individualisation of society and changes in gender roles, another is increasing interdependence. It has also fed into global integration, pluralism and relativism. Together, these constitute the revolution that is variously called globalisation or the formation of a postmodern society. However the world-views that we have inherited from the centralised and rationally ordered societies of the modern era, or from romantic reconstructions of pre-modern society, clash with our experience of living in a postmodern society. We have notions of what society is and how it ought to work, and they don’t match our experience of what works and feels right. The clash creates tensions within individuals which sometimes erupt in violence or self-defeating behaviour. The solution to this disorientation, is a re-orientation to a broad view of what society is in fact becoming: the organic society.

5a. Bio
Sen McGlinn and Sonja van Kerkhoff, both born and raised in Aotearoa (New Zealand) have been based in the Netherlands since 1989 and have been making art works independently, together, or in collaboration with others since the mid 1980s. Most of their work, often in the form of a site specific installation, relates to the human condition as an interweaving of the spiritual, social and material. For example in 2009 they participated in the “Treetop Gallery” in Regents Park in London, U.K., where Sen delivered a lecture in a tree house on “Structuring Society in an age of globalisation” while Sonja’s contribution was the hanging of orange tinted translucent tulips.

5b. c.v.
Sen McGlinn, born 1956, Christchurch, Aotearoa / New Zealand.
Sonja van Kerkhoff, born 1960, Hawera, Taranaki, Aotearoa / New Zealand.
They live in Leiden, The Netherlands.

2012 “Into the line of Time” site specific installation, SPLORE arts festival, Tapapakanga Regional Park, Aotearoa/New Zealand.
2011 Performance, Yuchengco Museum, Manila, The Philippines.
2011 Installation, Le Blanc Gallery, Manila, The Philippines.
2011 Installation, ISEA Istanbul, Turkey.
2011 Print, Municipal Museum of Gwangju, South Korea.
2011 Co-curation, EAE Gallery, Leiden, The Netherlands.
2011 Installation, Parlour Project Space, Queens Cresent, London, U.K.
2010 Installation, Museum Beelden aan Zee (Museum of Sculpture), Scheveningen, The Netherlands.
There is a fuller c.v. here (


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