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Some thoughts on the COVID-19 pandemic and the Manners of Speaking – Te Pūkoro o Tāne exhibition video

12 Apr

still from the Manners of Speaking – Te Pūkoro o Tāne, Whangarei show under lockdown, 2020 12 minute video

Still from the Manners of Speaking – Te Pūkoro o Tāne, Whangarei show under lockdown, 2020 12 minute video on youtube.

On March 23rd, three days before this exhibition was due to close, I was informed by the gallery that they have closed the gallery due to the COVID-19 pandemic and I was given permission to film and take photographs before the lockdown date of March 25th.
Still from the Manners of Speaking – Te Pūkoro o Tāne, Whangarei show under lockdown, 2020 12 minute video

Still from the Manners of Speaking – Te Pūkoro o Tāne, Whangarei show under lockdown, 2020 12 minute video

In New Zealand things moved very fast. On Saturday evening we all heard news of a 4 step plan where we were at step 2, social distancing. Some libraries and swimming pools had closed on the Friday before. Then on Monday 23rd, when I heard of the gallery closure, we had moved to step 3 and then later in the day it was announced that New Zealand would go into lockdown, step 4, at midnight on Wednesday 25th.

Still from the Manners of Speaking – Te Pūkoro o Tāne, Whangarei show under lockdown, 2020 12 minute video

Still from the Manners of Speaking – Te Pūkoro o Tāne, Whangarei show under lockdown, 2020 12 minute video

The poetry reading to be hosted by Piet Nieuwland was cancelled but we met in the gallery (and kept our 2 metre distance from each other) and Piet read, solo. However the sound quality was terrible … and no possibility for another shoot.
Then Craig Denham shared his lockdown morning improvisations amongst his friends, and so we have day 4 as the soundtrack for this 12 minute video.

Still from the Manners of Speaking – Te Pūkoro o Tāne, Whangarei show under lockdown, 2020 12 minute video

Still from the Manners of Speaking – Te Pūkoro o Tāne, Whangarei show under lockdown, 2020 12 minute video


Forced into lockdown, like Craig, I have found these weeks thought provoking – two exhibitions I co-curated are in lockdown and two other exhibitions planned for 2020 are cancelled, yet this is nothing compared to the threat of losing one’s life or livelihood.

Still from the Manners of Speaking – Te Pūkoro o Tāne, Whangarei show under lockdown, 2020 12 minute video

Still from the Manners of Speaking – Te Pūkoro o Tāne, Whangarei show under lockdown, 2020 12 minute video

I must go and publish the video here on youtube and then I will return to another blog later. In the meantime here is a link to a blog I wrote for a Dutch Arts Review website “CONNECTING ART IN A TIME OF CRISIS: New Zealand –The Netherlands.”

Manners of Speaking – Te Pūkoro o Tāne

17 Feb

21 Feb – 26 March 2020
Geoff Wilson Gallery, NorthTec Campus, Whangārei, Aotearoa

Ghosts by Ashleigh Taupaki, Auckland

Ghosts photographic print by Ashleigh Taupaki. 42.0 x 59.4 cm
I te huringa kōmuri, e haramā te whenua i te kēhua
On looking back, the land was covered white with ghosts

Hauraki proverb

When we speak of the world in metaphor, not only is it more engaging, but it is a reminder that whatever we say is a translation of the worlds around us.
Over 50 works in diverse media on themes of proverbs and sayings by artists based in Aotearoa and beyond, curated by Sonja van Kerkhoff with 3rd year NorthTec year students.

Artists

Animal Picnic by Andrea Gardner

Animal Picnic, Archival Lambda print, 1 out of edition of 3
by Andrea Gardner. 82 x 57 cm
(click for a larger view)

Alicia Courtney, Moerwera, The Far North

Andrea Gardner, Whanganui

Ashleigh Taupaki, Auckland

Brenda Liddiard, Auckland

The Map of Hard Places, Mixed media on board, by Brenda Liddiard. 30 x 70 cm, 2014.

The Map of Hard Places, Mixed media on board
by Brenda Liddiard. 30 x 70 cm, 2014.

Brit Bunkley, Whanganui

Carolyn Lye,
Karetu, The Far North

Catrina Sutter,
Russell / Kororāreka

Chiara Rubino,
Matera, Italy

Cle Tukuitonga, Otangaroa, The Far North

Chiara Rubino, photographic print

Chiara Rubino, photographic print, 28 x 21 cm

Buona e’ la neve che a suo tempo viene
Good is the snow that comes in its time

Chiara Rubino photographs her home city, Matera, a UNESCO heritage city in southern Italy.

Elaina Arkeooll,
London, UK

Giacomo Silvano,
Irsina, Italy

Hilda Simetin, Auckland

Jacqueline Wassen, Maastricht,
The Netherlands

Jamie Larnach, Auckland

Jarred Taylor + others, Whangārei

Jeff Thomson, Helensville

Joas Nebe, Germany

Jeff Thomson 3 piece assemblage

Jeff Thomson, 3 piece assemblage

“There’s No Iron So Hard That Rust Won’t Fret It;
and There’s No Cloth So Fine That Moths Won’t Eat It.” Scottish Proverb

Joas Nebe, still from The Shareholder's Nightmare

Joas Nebe, still, The Shareholder´s Room, video, 3 min 45 sec

Man steigt nicht zweimal in denselben Fluß
You Cannot Step Into the Same River Twice
Heraclitus (c. 535 – c. 475 BC, Greece)

John Hoby, Millwater

John Mulholland, Warkworth

Maartje Zandboer, The Hague,
The Netherlands

Naomi Roche, Waikato

Lipika Sen & Prabhjyot Majithia, Auckland

Peter Scott, Kerikeri

Piet Nieuwland, Whangārei

Robert Brown, Whangaparaoa

Sam Melser, Auckland

Sonja van Kerkhoff, Kawakawa

Tash Nikora, Whangārei

Tracy Singer, Auckland

Ursula Christel (Mokopōpaki), Warkworth

Yllwbro Te Ara ki Rangihoua: The Way to Rangihoua, 2018 Scallop shells, brown string, moko adhesive Courtesy the artists and Mokopōpaki, Auckland

Yllwbro Te Ara ki Rangihoua: The Way to Rangihoua, 2018 Scallop shells, brown string, moko adhesive.
Courtesy the artists and Mokopōpaki, Auckland

Yllwbro (Mokopōpaki), North Island

Geoff Wilson Gallery, NorthTec, Gate 3, 51 Raumanga Valley Road, Whangarei

Opening 4-7p.m., 21 Feb 2020

open: 12 – 4 p.m. Wednesdays – Fridays,
and by appointment.

facebook event page for this exhibition

Geoff Wilson Gallery facebook page

northtec.ac.nz/geoff wilson gallery

Snap, Crackle, Pop-up – The ShutterRoom, Whangarei

17 Feb

12 Oct – 5 Nov 2019
The self-deprecating title, also a witty allusion to pop art (Roy Lichtenstein’s paintings of cartoons with speech bubbles were often onomatopoeiatic and pop art itself re-presented the ordinary and contemporary). The exhibition was a photographic project that translated the snap-shotted individual instant into the multi-medial.

Detail of Snap, Crackle, Pop-up at The Shutter Room, Whangarei

Detail of Snap, Crackle, Pop-up at The Shutter Room, Whangarei

It was also a participatory project: anyone with a smart phone and $2 was invited to add one of their snaps to the walls. A horizon line served as a visual guide but also added a level of complexity to the experience of Snap, Crackle Pop-up. Images above, below or across the line invited the viewer to read meanings into the placement and juxtapositionings – akin to how (despite our belief in our individualisms) each of us, is affected by our society.

The ShutterRoom is hardly a pop-up gallery having a stable following for over five years in its central Whangarei space directly across from the city public library. This proximity was part of the aesthetic experience created by The Shutter Room Collective curators, Heath, Leigh & Ken.

The ShutterRoom, Whangarei

Detail of one of the walls in Snap, Crackle, Pop-up,
The Shutter Room, Whangarei
Click for a larger view

The first instruction I was given was to take 30-odd steps towards the library to use the wifi access there to download the app required to print out my snapshot. Back in the gallery, the snapshot was printed and I was given pins to place it anywhere on the walls. Feeling rebellious, I pinned my image across the line then I counted only one cat and several baby photos in the 50 or more images. The open curation approach had an element of risk, especially where a broad public could easily walk in, but the eye height line appears to have encouraged a self displine in regards to the content and thoughtfulness in the total composition.

The Shutter Room Facebook page

Re:configuring @ The Shutter Room, Whangarei

14 Apr

Detail of Re:configuring by Sarah Kippenberger and Chris Schreuder

“Re:configuring” by Whangārei-based artists, Sarah Kippenberger and Chris Schreuder in the artist run The Shutter Room gallery and studio space, makes the aesthetic experience mutable and participatory.

Sarah Kippenberger and Chris Schreuder

Detail of over 80 images on one of the walls.



You are instructed to choose an image and then to find it peeping out of one of the orfices of the stacks of 80 or more banana boxes in the gallery space.

Detail in the Shutter Room gallery, Whangārei

The title of the show refers to the continually changing configurations created by the visitors. While the photographic images by the artists showing snippits of their lives are framed to be looked at, pondered over or recognized, the frames obscure more than they reveal and the installation of nooks and crannies and towers is not only random but temporary.

Detail in the Shutter Room gallery, Whangarei

Detail in the Shutter Room gallery, Whangārei

By removing both frame and label this project blurs authorship which often in the art world is an important part of the artwork’s value or reception. Visitors place and re-position the boxes and so affect the way the images or the boxes are read by the participants themselves as well as later visitor-participants. Not only the medium is blurred (installation, performance or an opportunity to rearrange) but also the usual separation between the art object and the gallery visitor. The risk is that the next visitor, expecting their art gallery experience to be about reading a static arrangement, sees nothing resembling ‘art.’ But like many social practice art projects which blur the borders between life and art, a clear context – here in the form of instructions to find the image – helps the viewer to step inside the magic circle and once engaged in the game there’s space for contemplation.

The banana box itself is a migrant entering the country on the back of trade as well as being the ubiquitous storage system. But I am being too serious, because this exhibition oozes with joy and lightheartedness. The images are light or delicate with not a trace of angst and none of the boxes are overly battered. There is an out of the box sense of exploration and play that blurs the lines of “object making, performance, political activism, community organizing, environmentalism and investigative journalism, creating a deeply participatory art” [1] experience. In another sense the box functions as an enabler of alterity (to reference Spivak whose 1997 Documenta lecture made a huge impact on me), a way of exhibiting the photographic in a divergent space – from the inside of the migrant banana box, with whatever baggage it might have that distinguishes it from a gallery wall.

Footnote: Outside the Citadel, Social Practice Art Is Intended to Nurture, New York Times, 2013

“Reconfiguring” by Sarah Kippenberger and Chris Schreuder,
29 March – 27 April 2019,
The Shutter Room, 9 Rust Avenue, Whangārei
Opposite the public library main door
Wed – Fri 12-4pm, Sat 10-2pm
The Shutter Room Facebook page

Inter-sensory correspondences

13 Jan
Detail of the Poetic Condition exhibition, Shutter Room, Whangarei

Detail of “The Poetic Condition” in the Shutter Room, Whangarei.
Left to Right: Triptych by Inge Reisberman, Photos and model by Thom Vink, Video-drawing by Sannes Maes and the grid of photo-drawing combinations by Christiaan van Tol.

Tomorrow is the final day of the show and this ends with a spectacular presentation beginning at 12 noon by Auckland artist, Raewyn Turner, who will show and demonstrate inter-sensory correspondences in her own art projects as well as leading a discussion on ‘the poetic condition’ when it comes to the artistic practice. Links to a 7 min film about her scent work and where and when, and the Facebook event page.

Left to Right: Photograph + mixed media by Marg Morrow, Photogram by Megan Dickinson, Videos by Pietertje van Splunter, detail of a photo-model installation by Thom Vink

Left to Right: Photograph + mixed media by Marg Morrow, Photogram by Megan Dickinson, Videos by Pietertje van Splunter, detail of a photo-model installation by Thom Vink

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Left to Right: Detail of photos and model by Thom Vink, Two photo-grams by Lisa Clunie, Photograph by Elektra Bakhshov.

Left to Right:

Left to Right: Photograph by Ellie Smith, Print by Sonja van Kerkhoff, Video by Anne Wellme (in collaboration with Geerten Ten Bosch, Harriët van Reek + Stephie Büttrich-Kolman), Photograph + mixed media by Marg Morrow, Photogram by Megan Dickinson, Videos by Pietertje van Splunter, detail of a photo-model installation by Thom Vink, Video by Channa Boon.