I am trying to be on my best behaviour today so I can get to the City Gallery tomorrow and if I am VERY lucky Schoon at Te Papa and Helen Hitchings even. Fingers crossed…(Bunnies are good luck aren’t they?)
So last weekend I heard Harvey Benge on Saturday Morning with Kim Hill.” Harvey Benge has been working full time as a camera artist from Auckland and Paris since 1992, mainly through published work…His new book, A Short History of Photography is a photographic anthology of contemporary photography.” You can hear the audio here (for a few weeks anyway). What I like about this book is that is openly addressing that issue many photographers have taking a photo that is much like someone elses. ” All photographers do this, and if the photograph in question apes another photographer too closely, it’s usually a cause for rejection. But Benge did the opposite. Picking out his ‘Friedlander’ and his ‘Parr’ and his ‘Baltz’ he decided to make an ‘anthology’ of contemporary photography featuring some of its biggest names. Yet they are all genuine, original Benges. They are also all good pictures, not mere pastiches of the ‘originals’ of which they gently but insistently remind one. This weekend Kim also had a great chat with Gregory O’Brien about his new book Back & Beyond: New Zealand Painting for the Young & Curious.
I am SO glad that webcasts exist. Saturday mornings are a madhouse here usually, so now I can go back and listen to things later on. Also once I figure out my firewall settings I will also be able to watch New Artland (currently on TVNZ6). Yesterday I also stumbled upon The Museum Detective which is a blog and a series of ‘podcasts’ about museum and art things around NZ which are just great. Although it may be just that the subjects interest me. There was an good interview with Peter Peryerwhich also touched upon the issues of ubiquitous photographs, in his case the rocks and autumn tones of Central Otago.
In order to get out tomorrow I am forgoing the RAY opening at the Mahara Gallery tonight. Another ‘inspired’ exhibition, Real Art Youth is a selection of student artwork from the Greater Wellington in response to the The Real Art Roadshow. I am really interested to see this show as I have been distracted on yet another tangent recently about viewer response to artworks. When I visited Chris White at Cobalt, he made a polite comment about my reading of one of his works (I was heavily influenced by the Sinfonia Antarctica exhibition at the time) and then yesterday I read an interpretation of something I had written, which picked up on an element I hadn’t noticed myself which fascinated me. So I am curious to see what students have made of these (major) works.
EDIT: Before anyone worries about me living in some sort of dictatorship, the reason getting to anything is difficult is because there is only so much childcare time and petrol money to go round so even a minor trip requires lots of planning :-)