Posts Tagged ‘Reboot’

A Kind of Blue

I have thought long and hard before writing a post about this exhibition (Kind of Blue: new acquisitions and loans). You see I don’t ‘get’ art sometimes, or don’t get the nuances anyway and this exhibition has me stumped even though I have visited three times.

The DPAG spiel on this exhibition says “Over recent years the Dunedin Public Art Gallery has been strategically collecting, through acquisition as well as loans, a number of significant artworks by a range of contemporary artists from New Zealand and overseas. Kind of Blue provides an opportunity for a select group of these stunning photographs, sculptures and paintings by a range of emerging and established artists to be exhibited together for the first time.

This small selection (only 19 works) appears to be made up from the gallery’s collection and the Barr loan collection. I was very keenly looking forward to it after my contemporary art revelation of 2008 at Reboot at the City Gallery, Wellington. It was a mixed bag and I was a bit confused by the labelling/layout in the catalogue (no labelling in the actual gallery). Like I said though, I don’t ‘get’ things sometimes. I very much like Ben Cauchi’s photos and it was interesting to see  Yvonne Todd’s Founding CEO, 2008 which I thought might have been from the Wall of Man series but is dated earlier. A touch of lightness (but yet…not) was found in Campbell Patterson’s Lifting my mother for as long as I can series. The highlight for me was seeing in person the Peter Robinson polystyrene works. I have seen lots of photos online but to see them in person was amazing. Measure of disorder with its delicate chain links was wonderful, but oddly rearranged the second time I visited – although for the better.

At the floor talk I attended for reboot, Jim Barr talked a bit about Martin Creed’s work 88 so I was excited to see that too. Visit one – couldn’t find it and dumb old me couldn’t work out the blurry photo where I expected the Creed work to be (it turns out the photo was part of  Roman Signer’s Fireman’s glove with photograph). On my second visit, I damn near stepped on  Work 88: A sheet of A4 paper crumpled into a ball as it sat on the floor, albeit with a large DO NOT REMOVE sign beside it. Today, the ball of paper was there, with no sign. I am very suspicious though, as it looked nothing like the ball of paper from last week. Yeah ok I am nit-picking, but I found it disturbing.

 Work No. 88: A sheet of A4 paper crumpled into a ball
1995 – 2008, Paper, Approx. 5 cm diam
Unlimited edition
(Image from Martin Creed website)

For me , the catalogue hits the nail on the head with “it is difficult to discern what they [the artists] represent or are contemplating as a group“. I liked individual works, but as a group “they are only remarkable for their aloofness“.

The catalogue also says “there is a distinct coolness to the works” and I am thinking perhaps they were going for a gloomy atmosphere as they say the works address “aspects of absence, melancholy, loss“.  The show is dedicated to artist Julian Daspher who died in July 2009, so I guess that is fitting.

My plan is to go to the floortalk with Jim Barr and Mary Barr on 11th October (3pm) in hope of further clarification.

A Kind of Blue at the Dunedin Public Art Gallery runs from 29 August to 6 December 2009.

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Such a perfect day

Well – nearly perfect. Lets say that when you live in the desert a visit to the Oasis means you need to fill up to get you to the next Oasis. Feast or famine etc etc and today was a feast

Managed to get to the Reboot exhibition for the collectors talk (report to follow tomorrow). A revelation really and definitely some “ah ha” moments for me. Oddly no one asked questions. I had about a million questions but where do you start in that setting? I did discover an artwork that sums me up completely (just now) Happy for it to be my epitaph even. Ronnie van Hout’s “Sorry I am out of Order”. I think I HAVE to get this T-shirt.

And yes I did bump into some people – rather unexpectedly. And in answer to “whats with the calling cards?”. Well they were free (if you are happy to put up with some spam) and shoving them at people by way of introduction is a great help to socially inept people like me.

Managed to rush over to the Theo Schoon “archival exhibit” at Te Papa as well. I was very disappointed and wish I’d gone to the Helen Hitchings thing instead. I wanted to see some of his rock art work and they just had the gourds, jade, ceramics and Thai stuff on display. I mean I did like what I saw (some amazing photographs) just not what I was wanting to see. Also a pity they didn’t have some of his decorated gourds – just the photos.

And home to a cooked meal – an absolute rarity for me not to have to do the cooking.

Also last night watched “Love Is the Devil: Study for a Portrait of Francis Bacon“. It didn’t get such great reviews but I thought it was good. Very clever how some scenes were staged like Bacon’s paintings – although some see this as a weakness.

Off to listen to Lou now.

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