Tuesday, February 24, 2009
Untitled Self (curled up), Oil on Canvas
Andrei Jewell and Gareth Moon at M.I.C:
Oh dear, yes we have been slack...enjoying sunshine and all means the blog has been left to gather dust for a good week. But we are back! With force! And with uni starting again next week, the Auckland Festival and all sorts of happenings, there should really be no excuse anymore (or at least we hope)...
But in the meantime, we mustered up some troops for art battles of the extreme kind and hit a few galleries. Evidence of such actions as posted above.
AUT graduate (represent) Sophie Corban had a show at Seed along with 6 other printmakers. There was a lovely series of Seagull etchings and some Frizzel-esque pieces. Otherwise it was a pretty standard printmaking show, no sort of theme other than the assumption that the show celebrated the medium of print. It is rather exciting to see graduates out in the world though, doing their thing. It gives hope to those of us nearing the end and wondering what happens next...Although I've been told (by those who are wise) not to think of such things. Ignorance is bliss, no?
Claudia informed us that her friend Sal was having a painting show and since paint shows seem to be far and few between, we were more than happy to attend. The Jenny Saville comparisons are unavoidable, of course. They run in similar visual interests, with ideas of flesh and butchery and the melding of bird and human in a slightly disturbing celebration of the paint medium. Differences between her and Saville are obviously through size. Would be interesting to see whether she would consider taking her work to a bigger scale. Higgens also talks of the 'spirit of painting' living on in a world where it has supposedly been put to the grave. Such is something we like to think is true. Or at least for the sake of our pnb livelihood...
The fanciest of the galleries we visited was M.I.C where upon entering we were asked if we had R.S.V.P'd. Oops, we didn't realise how super exclusive this was...However, being a super ninja from way back, we were able to wrangle our way past such a hurdle, only to find ourselves with a TV Crew, a DJ and super liquored guests making more noise than an exhibition titled 'Standing in Silence' should really have. What a surprise as the invite did not allude to the night club environment that M.I.C had turned into. On top of that, the headphones we were given were constantly interrupted by buzz from people's cellphones (and the noise from outside), making viewing the work in the intended way, an impossibility.
The soundscapes puzzled us. Not just because we were in the wrong environment, but because we felt there wasn't a need for it. Whatever happened to the medium of photography speaking for itself? Is it too telling to have accompanying music? Does it then become slightly contrived? Amber (being a musically inclined person) believed that the photographs and the music were seamless. I however, felt it was like putting nutella and creamed corn in a toasted sandwich. The two did not gel. Or maybe it gelled too much in such a corny cinematic way that my brain was too appalled to take it seriously. The film was similar, although Elliot did grant it an A+ on the camera panning.
Highlight of the exhibition was the 20 seconds of silence they made people do for TV3's Nightline. Those 20 seconds, although awkward, was the only time in which anyone could have perhaps grasped the exhibition. Once it was over though, it was back to the Red Bull. At least people were having good fun.
p.s. the 'Standing in Silence' show is on till this Saturday. Pick a nice, quiet day to go and tell us what you think.
Tuesday, February 17, 2009
This drawing was actually done by a 23 year old. Ultimate deception! Amelia age 7, we are onto you...
A cheeky take on baking, sent in by Sue Gardiner.
They were 'baked' by Megan Hansen Knarhoi for the City Cake Company and now is kept in a private Mt Eden collection. It was recently exhibited as part of Eden Arts 21 year Retrospective in October 2008.
Art and Baking coming together to make a sweet, sweet love child, what more could us pnb-ers want?
The next event is Artists in Eden Day, Essex Road Reserve, Mt Eden Village, 21March 2009. Perhaps we will see some more extreme baking there?
While we're on the baking reportage front, saw some excellent cakes at the Cross Street Carnival. No pictures so you're just going to have to take my word...
In the meantime, I still haven't touched the oven. Hypocrisy anyone?
Monday, February 16, 2009
A couple of people I know have set up a new gallery space along K Road (448 Gallery). The last time I had been for a quick looksie, the space didn't really seem activated enough. However, they just opened a show called 'perfect but' by Michael Vincent Sperring and Amber and I were lucky enough to be passing by to catch it.
The space held a few drawings of tie-dyed deck chairs, along with the deck chair in real life. There also seemed to be some sort of spatial bark pit of sorts...and what looked like a picnic table (which they were using), which I didn't even realise was an intentional part of the exhibition until it appeared in a drawing...
The show itself was puzzling. We both agreed that there was something holding our attention, but we didn't really know what it was about. We threw ideas back and forth, discussed the historical importance of tie-dye as a medium and whether the artist had even though about such a thing. I remarked that to me, the tie-dye itself was really just a means of creating mark or treating surface, and in the end, the show seemed like a whole load of 'this is what the artist wanted to do and so he did it' and perhaps we were reading too much into it (as we often tend to do). Although, come to think of it i now, perhaps he was doing some sort of One and Three Chairs thing minus written language?
The artist also pointed out to us a painting above the fireplace/mantlepiece, which was apparently a Judy Millar original. Somehow I think he was yanking our chain?? Maybe the Judy Millar was the whole centre of the show and we just didn't know it?
Then we finally got along to the Giovanni Intra exhibition/archive at Artspace. Perhaps the longest time spent in a gallery this year due to the amount of reading material just splayed out on the table. A lone post-it note was found on the back of one:
Who is the mysterious 'C'?? Where are the available 'cats'? I do assume they mean catalogue...and what were they setting up? The show?? How appropriate a discovery for the 'concealment and revelation' theme they have going.
Was also excited to see the slide projectors! Oh the magical click sound of a slide changing to another...so very satisfying. How I have missed thee...
Tuesday, February 10, 2009
Lantern Festival in Albert Park = Do Not Touch the Lanterns
After reading this sign, we saw a sneaky little boy run underneath the ropes and partake in some 'sculptural participation'.
Sunday, February 8, 2009
So here's a new section that we're calling 'The Paint and Bakery'! Showcasing our other talent(s), besides wielding paintbrushes etc.
To kick things off, here is a picture of a lovely Pavlova, baked by Claudia (decorated by me) on New Years for the Americans. We spent the whole night telling people that New Zealand has the rights to claim the humble 'Pav' as ours, flying the patriotic flag and all...
Mind you, I haven't really been doing much baking lately but maybe that will change? The pressure is on, who can make the most extreme baking good?? Maybe you can? Send us a picture if you too, are a baking sensei master! Challenge time pnb-ers!!
Wednesday, February 4, 2009
A surprise in the ol' inbox today. A photo the people at the de Young in San Francisco took weeks ago during a celebration of the tearing down of Maya Lin's 2x4 Landscape in the foyer. Now it is preserved as a digital photo with myself and a friend standing in front of it.
Digging through my archive, it is also preserved through a snap I took of it that evening.
I had completely forgotton about that experience until this came today (the de young being a slightly forgettable museum after a day of planetarium/rainforest/aquarium/etc gauntlet, one was simply too tired for it)...and I do remember wondering how strangely relative it was that the museum was offering photographs in front of the installation. It was, after all, supposed to mimic a landscape of sorts. Looking at it now, you can see how Lin's wish for the viewer to become a part of her 'imagined landscape' became very much a reality in the action of a photograph. They were like tourist shots! Even the photo I took myself is a slightly romanticised version of the installation, resembling a picture of a geological landmark during sunset, or something similar.
Although it is hard to deny the sculpture's connection to the land, I must admit that I had not really felt it so strongly until I looked at these pictures. I now wish that I hadn't been so cheap and paid to go see the rest of the exhibition (a measly $10USD really) or had tried harder to sneak in as we successfully did for the YSL show that was also an extra charge.
When do they start inventing Time Machines?
Edit: Looking at it again, it's even more like a tourist photo due to the way we are posing...and aided as well by the nikon (a 'sightseeing' accessory) I have around my shoulder. Ha! Throw in a fannypack and a visor and you'd spot us as visitors a mile away...
Tuesday, February 3, 2009
Having thoroughly slept off the j-lag, what's a kid to do? Climatise of course! The scorch is a far cry from the negative celcius we had experienced less than a month ago, and after showing up at these exhibitions tonight, one might wonder how the paint didn't melt right off the canvas...
The heat made it unbearable to stick around too long. Which was a shame because all three shows looked rather interesting. On one end of the spectrum, we have Andrew de Freitas at City Art Rooms, fresh faced from art school, putting together an installation based on growing, organic relations. And on the other, we have Simon Ingram, a seasoned pro-fesssionaaaal, shows coming left right and centre (hot off the trail of 'Minus Space' at P.S.1), with his "Why hello Artist, let me introduce you to my good friend Machine, Machine, Artist, Artist, Machine" approach. Then in between we have Kevin Capon and his 20 year veteran-service to photography in the show Echo doing what photographers do best, neutralising contexts, questioning how things are read bladiblah blah...
A quick observation of de Freitas' show revealed that the devil is really in the details. Such as the TV screen held up by terracotta bricks, connecting 3d to the 2d drawing of the bricks themselves. Even the electrical cord held a physical relation to the wall, naturally leading the viewers eye to the screen. The changes made to it since the Elam grad show were mainly the use of photography, snapshots taken on a recent road trip (so I was told), grounding the show into the previously real and actually experienced.
It's also funny to see the link between the snapshots and Capon's photos, some of which are taken of his family on holiday. Both let the viewer unfold thought at their own pace. The two shows run together rather nicely.
Down at 'da Gow' as we have lovingly coined it, the show was installed with the paintings Ingram had done by hand on one end and his famous painting machine ready to go on the other end of the room. The machine was still though, and linen canvases leant against the wall next to it in anticipation of part two of the exhibition where it will be activated throughout the coming weeks. I liked the build up this set created, where you feel as though action could come at a flick of a switch, and yet it's perhaps something, as a viewer, we cannot decide on when.
Us kiddos were wondering how to save up our pennies to buy one of Ingram's Machines. At $18,000 we're a little far from the mark. Perhaps instead, we can do a little 'artistic rehashing' and make it ourselves. Lego: Check. Oil Paint: Check. We're good to go, right?