Thursday, September 30, 2010

Coming up at Starkwhite

On Friday 8 October we open Beyond, an exhibition of works by three artists who engage the paranormal in their practices - Tamar Guimaraes' A Man Called Love, works from Dane Mitchell's Conjuring Form project and Georgina Starr's I Am The Medium.
Image: From Tamar Guimaraes' poetic slide show A Man Called Love (2007)

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

A collision of cultures at Versailles

Takashi Murakami is facing as much resistance for his Manga-inspired exhibition at Versailles as Jeff Koons did two years ago. Agence France-Presse reports a number of petitions are circulating against Murakami's exhibition at the former royal residence of the "Sun King" Louis XIV. According to the President of the public castle, Jean Jacques Aillagon, the protesters come from "extreme right fundamentalist groups and very conservative groups" who want make Versailles into a "reliquary of nostalgia for France of the Ancien Regime, or a France withdrawn into itself and hostile to modernism".

Murakami says the exhibition is "a face-off between the Baroque period and postwar Japan" and that he hopes it will "create in visitors a sort of shock, an aesthetic feeling".
Images: Takashi Murakami at the Chateau de Versailles, France

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

A biennial for artists living outside the mainstream art world

People's Biennial is a project conceived by artist Harrell Fletcher and exhibition-maker Jens Hansen. Organised by Independent Curators International (ICI), People's Biennial is an exhibition that examines the work of artists who operate outside the mainstream art world in the United States. It also proposes an alternative to the the standard contemporary art biennial, which the curators say mostly focuses on art from a few select cities (New York, Los Angeles, occasionally Chicago, Miami or San Francisco). This link takes you to the ICI website and further information on the event.

Monday, September 27, 2010

An outpost for photography

In his latest entry on Outpost curator Ron Brownson says: "I was wondering do many people know the difference between sheet fed gravure printing and platinum printing nowadays?" It's an unusual opening gambit for a gallery blog post, but not an unexpected one for followers of his writing.

Outpost began as a blog for the personal thoughts, opinions and activities of the Auckland Art Gallery staff, but Brownson is using it to publish a lot of writing on photography. Outpost also allows him to present images and writing to a readership while the Auckland Art Gallery's main building is closed for renovations. 

It's a smart move. Brownson is developing an online research and publishing project with the potential to inform and enrich the exhibition programme of the Auckland Art Gallery when it re-opens in 2011. In the meantime, Outpost is well worth a visit if you are interested in the history of photography, viewed through a curatorial lens and packaged for a blog.
Image: Auckland Art Gallery renovations, 2010

Sunday, September 26, 2010

A virtual museum dedicated to digital media

The Adobe Museum of Digital Media (AMDM) is a virtual space designed to showcase and preserve groundbreaking digital work and to present expert commentary on how digital media influences culture and society. This link takes you to the AMDM site and further information on the new museum project and opening exhibit by Tony Oursler.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Danish Pavilion at the 2010 World Expo, Shanghai

The Danish Pavilion at the World Expo in Shanghai is a class act. Bypassing propagandistic advertising, the Danes have combined art and architecture with an icon (Copenhagen's Little Mermaid) creating a spiral shape for visitors to explore while taking in photographs, films and Jeppe Hein's social bench and fountain. As well as animating the architectural space Hein's intervention functions as a barrier between the pedestrians and cyclists who use the cycling lanes that take them from the ground through two curves and up to a level of 12 metres and down again.
Images: from the Bjarke Ingels Group website, Danish Pavilion architects

Thursday, September 23, 2010

ShContemporary 2010: a market for ideas

The following links take you to reviews of ShContemporary 2010, the art fair that styled itself as a market for ideas as well as an Asian outpost of the art market: ShContemporary opens with wary dealers and an academic cast and Shanghai's 'messiest' art show is back.
Image: Choi Jeong-Hwa's towering balloon installation at ShContemporary 2010

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

China's Great Firewall

We were unable to post from Shanghai because we couldn't jump the Great Firewall of China that allows Beijing's internet police to block access to blogs. However, we resume our daily posts today. 

Monday, September 20, 2010

Leigh Davis flag poems at JAR

Image: Leigh Davis, Mouthing of Space, flag poem presented in the JAR exhibition Time, Text & Echoes (2010 - 2011), New North Road, Kingsland, NZ. 

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Radio Berkman: a brief history of noise

Noise is distracting and irritating enough in the real world, but Kate Crawford, Associate Professor in Media Research at the University of New South Wales, says it also exists in the virtual world, and is often more insidious. Digital distractions disguise themselves as useful information - posts from friends on Twitter and Facebook, text messages, email and instant messaging. She says separating the noise from the signal is often an arduous and personalised task. And as a new generation of youngsters grows up with mobile phones and uninterrupted network connectivity, researchers fret about a possible information overload and its effects on attention span. Last month Kate Crawford spoke with David Weinberger on Radio Berkman about the history of noise and how noise lives in the digital world.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Glen Hayward picks up the Kaipara Foundation Wallace Arts Trust Award

The winners of this years Wallace Arts Trust Awards have been announced this week. Glen Hayward has been awarded the Kaipara Foundation Wallace Arts Trust Award, receiving a three-month residency at Altes Spital in Solothurn, Switzerland.
Image: Glen Hayward, Closed Circuit, 2010, acrylic on carved wood

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

NICE WORK: installation views (Part 1)

Our exhibition Nice Work continues this week and is scheduled to end on Wednesday 22 September 2010.
Images (from the top): Whitney Bedford's Weather; Billy Apple's String Piece; Trenton Garratt's Model Conversations: The Last Days of a Famous Mime (with Grace Jung); John Reynold's Untitled [De Chirico, Pacific Ocean] with Seung Yul Oh's Globglob; Jim Speers' Recording Angel with Glen Hayward's Closed Circuit.

NICE WORK: installation views (Part 2)

Images (from the top): Hye Rim Lee's Bunny Luv, pink with Seung Yul Oh's Globglob; Seung Yul Oh again and Jim Speers' Recording Angel; Jae Hoon Lee's Hajodae with Billy Apple's String Piece; Whitney Bedford's Weather with Trenton Garratt's Model Conversations: The Last Days of a Famous Mime (with Grace Jung) and Seung Yul Oh's Globglob sculptures

Monday, September 13, 2010

Posts from China

While we aim to continue our daily posts, they may be intermittent this week as we are in Shanghai.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Jim Speers at Te Tuhi Centre for the Arts

Jim Speers' exhibition Numerology and Territories opened yesterday at the Te Tuhi Centre for the Arts and runs to 5 December 2010. You can read about the show here.
Image: Jim Speers, Egyptian Rims (2010) digital print on photographic paper

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Dane Mitchell at the Busan Biennale

The 2010 Busan Biennale Living in Evolution opens tonight and runs to 20 November. The biennale includes a new work by Dane Mitchell commissioned by artistic director Azumaya Takashi. We'll post installation views of Mitchell's work next week.
Image: Busan Museum of Art, one of the venues for the 2010 Busan Biennale

Friday, September 10, 2010

Peter Stichbury opens at Tracy Williams Ltd, NY

Peter Stichbury's exhibition The Proteus Effect opens tomorrow night at Tracy Williams Ltd New York and runs to 30 October 2010. The exhibition features five paintings and a suite of prints reflecting the metamorphosis that occurs through digital self-representation via the use of avatars and invented personas. This link takes you to the exhibition press release.
Image: Peter Stichbury, Bernard M (2010), acrylic on linen, 19.7 x 23.6 inches (500 x 600 mm), courtesy Tracy Williams Ltd, New York

Thursday, September 9, 2010

John Reynolds' Untitled [De Chirico, Pacific Ocean]

John Reynolds' Untitled [De Chirico, Pacific Ocean] is currently showing downstairs in the exhibition Nice Work, which runs to 22 September 2010.
Image: John Reynolds, Untitled [De Chirico, Pacific Ocean] (1989/2010), oil/wax crayon on acrylic on canvas, 1680 x 1680 mm

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

ShContemporary launched this week with a curated exhibition and Hou Hanru conference

ShContemporary, the Asia Pacific Contemporary Art Fair, takes place this week from 9 - 12 September 2010.

This year's edition includes Discoveries: Re-Value a thematic exhibition that highlights the confrontation between different ideas of artistic and commercial value. Curators Mami Kataoka, Manray Hsu and Colin Chinnery, have selected work by artists whose practices evoke different notions of value: value of the ordinary and the extraordinary, innovation against traditional values, as well as the value of physical objects versus the ephemeral, technique and craftsmanship, or conceptual value associated with political, sociological conditions and backgrounds. It's an exhibition that asks questions about the way we see and consume art.

The fair also includes a conference co-organised with Hou Hanru on the theme Collecting Asian Art: What, When and How? The Chinese-born curator and critic currently based at the San Francisco Art Institute believes that ShContemporary is a seemingly contradictory but effective context for this kind of debate. Somehow, he says, the pragmatic coexistence and interaction between the intellectual and commercial worlds can produce unexpectedly productive and interesting solutions. This link takes you to the conference programme and lineup of speakers.
Image: Shanghai Exhibition Centre, venue for ShContemporary 2010

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Billy Apple's String Piece

Billy Apple's String Piece is currently showing downstairs in the exhibition Nice Work, which runs to 22 September 2010.
Image: Billy Apple, String Piece (2010), builders string, cotton strips,

Monday, September 6, 2010

Catching the eye of international curators

New Zealand has featured in previous editions of the Sao Paulo Bienal - Joe Sheehan in the 28th, Andrew McLeod and Brendan Wilkinson in the 27th, Remember New Zealand curated by Tobias Berger for the 26th, Gavin Hipkins in the 25th and Peter Robinson in the 23rd. No artists, however, have made it into the lineup for the 29th Bienal titled There is always a cup of sea to sail in. Perhaps it's because we aren't doing enough these days to get the curators of international exhibitions and events to our corner of the world?

For instance, Carolyn Christov-Bakargiev, the Artistic Director of Documenta 13, was in Australia recently looking at artists for her 2012 exhibition, but didn't make it across the Tasman. Christov-Bakargiev was in New Zealand four years ago to judge the Walters Prize and made time for presentations by a number of Auckland-based artists while she was here. It's a pity we weren't able to capitalise on the connection by flying her over. However, no-one knew of her plans until she turned up in Sydney, which raises questions about the international visitor programmes operating around the country - some funded by Creative New Zealand. Is anyone thinking about representation in international events like the Sao Paulo Bienal and Documenta and how we catch the eye of the curators and exhibition makers early enough for our artists to be considered for inclusion?
Image: Pavilhao Ciccillo Matarazzo, venue for the 29th Sao Paulo Bienal

Sunday, September 5, 2010

James Cohan on his new online VIP art fair

In this interview, James Cohan speaks to Sarah Douglas about his new online VIP art fair. You can see our earlier post on VIP here.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

From Gambia Castle to GAK

One of the founding artists of Auckland's Gambia Castle, Kate Newby, is having her first solo show in Europe. Her exhibition Crawl Out Your Window is showing at Bremen's GAK Gesellschaft fur Aktuelle Kunst to 7 November 2010. This link takes you to a review of the show.
Image: Kate Newby, Crawl out your window (2010), installation detail, GAK Gesellschaft fur Aktuelle Kunst, Bremen, photograph from the GAK website

Friday, September 3, 2010

Hye Rim Lee's Bunny Luv

Hye Rim Lee's Bunny Luv, pink is currently showing downstairs in the exhibition Nice Work, which runs to 22 September 2010.
Image: Hye Rim Lee, Bunny Luv, pink (2010), C Print, 1200 x 1200 mm, edition of 5,

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Jae Hoon Lee's Farm

Over the next two weeks we'll show images of works in Nice Work, an exhibition and series of presentations for new collectors and art collectives. The group show includes new work by artists along with earlier works such as Jae Hoon Lee's Farm. Please contact us at if you would like to know more about works in the show or the programme.
Image: Jae Hoon Lee, Farm (2007), digitally collaged photograph, 1060 x 1190 mm, edition of 8

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

A new broom sweeps through Creative New Zealand

In the 1980s the Labour government led by David Lange strayed from its social-democrat roots, adopting free market classical liberalism and setting in train a rapid programme of deregulation and public asset sales. The approach dubbed Rogernomics after Minister of Finance Roger Douglas was viewed as the antipodean version of Thatcherism and Reaganomics.

The high priests of the prevailing free market philosophy also insisted on a clear separation between policy and service/funding delivery and eventually they got around to bringing the arts into line, notably with the restructuring of the Queen Elizabeth II Arts Council of New Zealand, which became Creative New Zealand with a council responsible for policy and three boards established to oversee the distribution of funds and services.

However, new developments are afoot. A bill which will streamline the governance of Creative New Zealand has passed its first reading in Parliament. The Arts Council of New Zealand Toi Aotearoa Bill addresses the overly complex structure of Creative New Zealand, creating a 13-member Arts Council responsible for policy, strategy and funding allocations, replacing the more unwieldy division of responsibilities between the existing Arts Council, Arts Board, Te Waka Toi and the Pacific Arts Committee which are governed by 28 members.

The new streamlined structure will be welcomed by most in the art world, particularly if the efficiencies arts minister Christopher Finlayson is aiming for reduce operating costs and free up staff to focus on artists, arts organisations and arts development. But while restructuring is a good start, let's hope the minister remembers that the performance of the new organisation will ultimately depend on the people he appoints to govern it.
Image: Old Public Trust Building (Wellington) which houses Creative New Zealand