Artist Sarah Keber, one of Massey's most illustrious current BFA students, appears to have arranged some pretty action-packed festivities down at Bar Bodega in Wellington this Wednesday for its inaugural Art Meets Pint Night. Sounds like a fun evening! For more info check out the event's Facebook page.
Please join Christina Barton, Sophie Jerram and me at 5.30pm on Friday 4 July at the Adam Art Gallery Te Pātaka Toi for a special screening and discussion to launch the second in the RELOAD │Kirk Gallery Series 2014:
Is a Museum a Battlefield?
4 July – 10 August
Refreshments will be served.
I just wanted to note the really wonderful amount of video, sound, and image materials available on the website for the exhibition Radical Presence: Black Performance in Contemporary Art which recently finished its run in NYC at the Studio Museum in Harlem. As the curatorial/press information for the show states: "Radical Presence: Black Performance in Contemporary Art is the first exhibition to survey over fifty years of performance art by visual artists of African descent from the United States and the Caribbean. Black performance has generally been associated with music, theater, dance, and popular culture. While the artists in Radical Presence draw on these disciplines, here their work is considered in relation to the visual arts. The show begins with examples dating from Fluxus—a loose international network of artists from the 1960s and ’70s—and Conceptual art of the same period, and continues up to the present day. Featuring live performances as well as objects, Radical Presence includes more than one hundred works by thirty-seven artists." The site features videos, interviews, and documentation of works by artists including: Papo Colo, Coco Fusco, Theaster Gates, David Hammons, Trenton Doyle Hancock, Dave McKenzie, Senga Nengudi, Lorraine O'Grady, Benjamin Patterson, Adrian Piper, Pope.L, Dread Scott, Carrie Mae Weems, and many others.
Here are some links to some pretty interesting Fluxus material floating around on YouTube, including Dick Higgins describing the origins of Fluxus and a (re-)performance of his piece "Danger Music # 17" by Australian scholar Geoffrey Gartner. There's some great footage of the early (1962) German Fluxus festivals here and experimental filmmaker Jonas Mekas speaks of his friends Andy Warhol and George Maciunas here. Alison Knowles was interviewed on the occasion of MoMA's Fluxus Editions exhibition, and performance artist William Pope.L devised his own particular response. Nam June Paik speaks about his motivations to make video art in a vintage documentary, and another documentary focuses on his longtime collaborator and partner "the topless cellist" Charlotte Moorman.
Here are a few snapshots of assorted artworks/multiples by Fluxus artist Robert Filliou.
Painter Douglas Stichbury has a new exhibition opening at Suite Gallery in Wellington on Thursday April 3 at 5:30 PM entitled The Practice of Leisure which runs through April 26. For more info and to see examples of the artist's previous work, consult http://www.suite.co.nz/artists/douglas-stichbury/
David Cross, after over a decade residing in Wellington has just relocated back across the Tasman to his former home of Melbourne to take up a Professorship at Deakin University. We've had a great time seeing David off lately with a series of events, many of them drenched with the demon drink, but I know we in the local arts community are going to now feel acutely aware that David is so unexpectedly, and finally, not here (he and his partner Ellie and daughter Edie left this past weekend). David's commitment to all kinds of things relating to contemporary visual art significantly increased the energy here, whether involving: public and site-responsive art, live art and performance, art writing and criticism, talks and symposia, and the curation of temporal practices. David has been extremely generous and helpful to me in my six years on the ground in New Zealand, and his friendship has been an utter joy. I wanted to offer a little DC roundup on this post, with a few links that only scratch the surface of his constant activity as an artist, researcher, and educator. I arrived in NZ shortly before the One Day Sculpture project got underway and enjoyed being an invited writer though it was pretty scary at times, leaping into this entirely new context for me. You can read and look at great images retrospectively both in its online site and the lavish book. It was also extremely humorous at times to see a frazzled David trying to project manage (in many places at once) the massive, multi-tentacled beast that ODS became. David's later Tasmanian curatorial project Iteration: Again was something I didn't see firsthand but also became a fascinating series of artworks and responses (and book) that challenged many people's assumptions about contemporary curation, particularly in this part of the world. And in the midst of all this David was making lots of work of his own, documentation of which can be viewed on his informative website, and contributed heaps of writing to many different contexts, particularly about two dozen well wrought and often witty pieces for the EyeContact site in Auckland. One of David's most ambitious recent projects in terms of its scale and conceptual scope was Level Playing Field, commissioned as part of Christchurch's Scape exhibition. I mean how many artists invent a new sport as part of their public art project? David will I hope be making his outlandish, fantastic works for many years to come, it's just sad we have to see him off after such a productive and engaging period here in New Zealand. Thanks David.
Artist Victoria Singh's WAITING ROOM project which I recently posted on and was just written up in the Dominion Post has now been extended until MARCH 30th—however for the week starting Monday March 24 it has different hours as on TUESDAY and FRIDAY it's open from 430 to 8 PM only. More chances to wait!
The Guardian's Jonathan Jones has written a fine piece on the legendary now 81-year-old artist Yoko Ono's most recent retrospective and her changing critical fortunes (certainly for the better of late). Jones rightly notes how innovative so many of her works that date from 40+ years ago still are, and the importance of her legacy on countless artists. Unfortunately I made the terrible mistake of scrolling through some of the comments below the article and read loads of ignorant and smug screeds attacking Ono in the same old boring, predictable fashion. You encounter (it's not worth it, trust me!) Beatle-fan zealots who "hate her" and seem generally to "hate conceptual art." What truly disappointing stuff.