Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Oh...Oh no...where have we gone?

Sal Higgens at Satellite Gallery:

Untitled Self (curled up), Oil on Canvas

See no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil, Oil on Canvas

Sophie Corban at Seed Gallery:

Andrei Jewell and Gareth Moon at M.I.C:

Alan and Amber having a jolly time listening to Rhian Sheehan

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.

- Agnes

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.


Anonymous said...

Hmm, I actually had the opportunity to catch this exhibition on a quiet day (untainted by the hype and red bull on the release night - which from what I gather was more a release party for the CD).

I’d purchased the album the day before so had more of opportunity than you to soak up the beautiful music and imagery that comes with the booklet. I honestly felt all the elements worked perfectly together, especially the 20 min film which I understand was not just a case of throwing music over some film elements, but a very solid collaborative effort that involved both musician and film maker travelling to the locations together. The segment with the old homeless man in Japan was just stunning. Shame you couldn’t catch the exhibition by yourselves with cell phones off.


Agnes said...

I do agree the environment I viewed it in was horrific. But perhaps it is also a matter of having enough time to get acquainted with the music before seeing the two together. Music itself, can be a complicated matter on it's own, and that I did not let it mature enough, like a vintage cheese...was perhaps an undoing of the interpretation of the artist's work on my own part.

I still commend the photographs and do feel as though they were powerful enough on their own, without the need for a soundtrack. Maybe it comes down to personal preferance, as in the case of Amber, who confidently thinks in sound and someone like me who tends not to.

- Agnes