Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Mixed and Varied

Clare Keegan 'Untitled' series of 3

Keyelee Lawler-Dormer 'Untitled' Sound Work

Jacqui Seymour 1992/2009, Untitled Bach Series

Tias Fristiasa 'Untitled' (White Works)

Josh Harvey 'Untitled' Tanks Series

Elliot Collis Soft Space

Question: Why so many seemingly untitled works? What happened to the art of naming? Perhaps it isn't relevant in this show, and the artists feel as though their works do not need proper names...only secondary ones following the word untitled...

But this got me thinking about the role of titling. Recently in my Talk Week crit, a masters student deliberately withheld the titles of her works as an experiment to see whether the installation itself was enough information in a cold reading. Perhaps this is what is happening here in this show? A clever ploy to make us think harder, or perhaps, make us think more linear.

Yet the title of the show is Kaleidoscope, and the accompanying catalogue states that it means 'looking at beautiful forms'. So perhaps this show is really more about visual aesthetic as opposed to concept or narrative, hence why there is no need for a title? Sure the show provides a lot of optical interest through means of largely printed photographs, delicate print work and a giant 'soft space'. But then there's also Josh's disgustingly abject tanks and Keyelee's strange perspex contraption blasting noise, sound and other sorts of interactive confusion. Her work is not working with vision, but that of aural sensation and that of touch.

So it leaves me to ponder how mixed this show is. On one hand, we have the comfortable (Clare's photographs reminded some of the softness of domestic placemats from the 70s) and on the other, jarring.

Kaleidoscopes are essentially different broken particles being manipulated through reflection to create a whole vision. And that's how I see this show. A strange mix of pieces coming together to do something...but I'm not sure what yet. I also refuse to accept that they are only coming together to delight in the aesthetic.

Further reflection (the kind that occurs mentally) is needed but in the meantime, go see the show at St Paul Street Gallery 3.

- Agnes

p.s. To keep in mind the actual purpose for the Pilot programme is that it is a professional practice paper, and that the actual brief states that we do not need to be striving towards creating links or a thematically cohesive show, only that we need to put on a show and that our work needs to be in it. In fact, we are discouraged from adopting overt themes.

This is probably why people can be perplexed when entering a Pilot show, we automatically try to look for links that we have been perhaps conditioned to expect, and we are sorely disappointed when we do not find it. This should not be a sadness towards the artists creating the show as we are only conceding to the brief.

Sometimes though, there is a thin thread that connects a Pilot together. When this thread has been identified and pushed with clever subtlety, a show can be more than an ordinary fulfilment of brief. I think something along these lines could be happening within this show but I also think it that it is something that nobody has put their finger on quite yet. Maybe such a thread is too clever to reveal itself to me in ravaged post talk week state. I also question whether the artists themselves know this thread, only because the catalogue seems more concerned with individual, isolated ideas than that of a greater whole.

The rambling must stop.


For now.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Pilot 2

St Paul Street Gallery 3
Opening Wednesday 27 May 5.00-6.30

Yeeeeea the second installment of the pilot series.

- Agnes

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Pimp my Wall

From this:

To this:

It came up in crits that those terrible floating walls that we have in studio were distracting when it comes to reading object based work (such as mine). Therefore, for talk week, I embarked on a mission to fix that issue. Who knew it would take 3 days, 2 nervous breakdowns and $50 of wasted materials that I didn't even need.

Major wall reconstructions = newly lowered pimped out wall

All the other walls are jealous.

Not really.

- Agnes

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Talk Week

Next week most of the Visual Arts crew will be heading into intense crittage with leading curators, artists, gallery directors and designers in New Zealand. Some of us are prepared. Some, not so much (oh dear jeezus is it Talk Week already?).

There will be an open day on Friday 29 may from 11-6. Come along! It'll be like graduation come early!

Hopefully most of us won't be reduced to piles of diminished artist dust by the end of the gauntlet. That way, we might actually be able to involve ourselves in some intelligent conversation with visitors. Apologies otherwise.

Alas, back to making work...gaaaaaaablahjeebus. Only God can save me now.

- Agnes (pre diminished artist dust state)

Take Off

Aleesha Darling

Michelle Lee

Chelsea Bews

Helen Ancliffe

Kate Bedford

Sam Atasani

First Pilot opening of the year and what is one to think of a large curved painting, photos of dogs in costume, hanging things, stacking things and shrine dot dot indeed?

Interesting pieces were Kate's small painting, a last minute surprise that I wasn't expecting. We had also spent the last few weeks joking about the clumsy large piece that she was working on and how she was possibly going to install it, but it ended up looking so elegant. I was impressed with how she pulled it off.

I am also always intrigued with Michelle's ability to grasp the feminine, delicate and the difficulties of display and install. Her works never looked laboured over, instead hanging in that difficult space between consideration and play.

However, I did have issues with some install of work, mainly the lighting (too light in some areas, much too dark in others as well as yellow and white light)and the strange wires poking out of walls. However, I also know of the difficulties of working with Gallery 3 as a space, with it's OSH regulation ramps, holey walls and random alcoves. There's much learning from other people to be done before my own show I guess! There's also a lot of time to figure out how one can possibly get around the new alcohol restriction placed on that space...any ideas?

In the mean time, will be stressing about talk week and looking forward to next week's show. There's a bouncy castle involved. Yes. Please.

- Agnes

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Carrying the Load

Alicia Frankovich at Artspace, Friday night where the top secret performance took place.

We like her intense shin pads.

- Agnes


OH jeeeezus it's Pilot time again. This year, we are the participants, putting on seven shows from now until early August. Group one are kicking things off this week so come along, have a drink, a yarn and look at some art.
St Paul Street Gallery 3
Opening Wednesday 20 May, 5.00-6.30

Do it. Do it like a Nike ad.

- Agnes

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Wellin' Town

hot jiggedy-dawg
Unintentional jenga at Simon Morris' studio

Colour Chunk at Massey

John Ward Knox's gains on losses at Enjoy

5/8ths of Da Crew + bucket fountain

One day in Wellington isn't nearly enough time to experience all of its joy. But it is most definately enough to convert me to it's awesomeness. After waking up at an ungodly hour to catch our flight, we managed to procure enough energy to last us through a busy day, starting in Lyall Bay with Simon Morris' studio.

Morris has now officially become a legend here at AUT due to, not only his generous hospitality and admirable skills of the painting kind, but his beachside studio with views that look like Isaac Julien films. We gawked at some recent paintings, as well as the large rolls of expensive linen that he has at his expense, and indulged in absorbing his brain as much as possible. He was even kind enough to give some of us a ride into town, as well as showing us around the Massey studios.

After Andy's 'scenic' (read: took the wrong turn and ended up going on massive detour) route to Cuba Street we then visited Enjoy where John Ward Knox was having a show and Siv talked to us about the highs and lows of artist run spaces. Claudia then tried re-enacting Ward Knox's performance piece, only to realise that she has a very similar arm-span to the artist. Things like this are always good to know.

The group then disbanded with some of us paying Peter McLeavy a visit. We had been told that he too is a living legend and he lived up to the hype by showing us a Toole painting and then launching into an impromptu reading. Being read to by Mcleavy is like being put to bed by your Mum with a hottie and a glass of milk, too precious. Needless to say, he's a real darling and we heart him (and his typewriter) very much.

We then met up for a coffee with Heather Galbraith from City Galleries who was lovely enough to reveal to us the final selection of works that she curated for the Venice Biennale and talk so vividly about her journey to curatorship.


- Getting harassed by a man in a loin cloth (a very small loin cloth) who we later learned is refered to as 'blanket man'. Thank you.

- The guy with the mirror blanket (what's with all the blanket allusions?) who blinded us and oncoming traffic. Thank you very much.

- Trying to check in at Air New Zealand when we were really flying Pacific Blue. That, I admit, was my fault.

Thanks to everyone we met and who showed us a good time. We are in debt.

- Agnes

Monday, May 11, 2009


Photo: Spike Jonze's blog (it has info and pics about the upcoming Where the Wild Things Are movie oooooo!)

Stumbled across this site called Uniform 2008 where three artists are participating in a social experiment where they wear the same custom designed clothes for six months...

Here they log their intentions and monthly diaries. So far, two months in, and no one is commenting on the consistency of their clothing choices. I wonder what that says about people? Whether we're not very observant or just too polite? Or maybe, six months later, we'll realise it's not even a big deal.

- Agnes

p.s. Watch out for our sneaky selves in Wellington tomorrow. We could only spare a day trip but have many a place to go and see. Thank you to those who helped/offered us things to do. Will update you on our adventures...

Friday, May 8, 2009


WJ block has long been the home of spatial design here at the AU of T, until we heard rumours that it was going to be bulldozed and rebuilt into new awesomeness (horridness? How bout that rennovated design block? Sterile much?). That was last year, and those rumours still haven't come true yet...

Which is O.K because Chris Fitzgerald has decided to turn a part of it into a temporary space for art and kicked things off on Friday with a show. Above are evidence of such.

The space really got me thinking...there's something really interesting about where WJ sits at the moment. Its fate hanging off of the decisions of people who perhaps don't even inhabit it. WJ is positioned between functions, intended or not. Whether it is anticipating something bigger and better, a moving on with times, or mourning the imminent death of what it used to be...where is its glory to be found now?

I bet all the other buildings are taking note. After all, WJ could very well just be an architectural foreshadowing of their own futures...

- Agnes

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Ballin' with Ballen

Snaps from the Roger Ballen opening, St Paul Street. We be the clumsy ones spilling wine behind the bar. Oops.

Come see the show if you're game for drooling inbred-like twinnigans and skin crawly, exorcist children. You know, your everyday haps.

- Agnes

Friday, May 1, 2009

Feature Friday: Dress Ups

Amber is doing some works involving performance and costumes made from old blankets. She has just finished Claudia's costume, a spongebob/underwater diving suit contraption. We've been told it's not exactly breathable...but it's bloody cute yes?
Amber has also made me a costume from a fluorescent pink sleeping bag. Enough said.
- Agnes