Commentary

What We Never Leave Behind

What We Never Leave Behind

We sang the national anthem every morning before school. Our tiny white business shirts ironed and tucked in by our mothers, our striped red and black ties straightened and pinned to our chests. Across the large concrete plane that constituted both playground and football field, we lined up in two large groups and stood next to our peers before a five-metre flagpole that bore the flag of our nation: the Arab Republic of Egypt.

Ralph Hotere: Ātete (to resist)

Ralph Hotere: Ātete (to resist)

Ralph Hotere’s art charted his journeys throughout Aotearoa and the world, reflecting on his experiences, identity and politics. As the first major survey exhibition of Hotere’s artistic career for over twenty years, Ātete celebrates his achievements and brings his vision to a new generation. It’s been a huge project to bring together so we thought it was timely to ask the four curators to tell us a little about their relationship with Hotere – how do they connect as individuals with the artist’s works, and the themes and the locations that they explore?

Pauline Rhodes: Blue Mind

Pauline Rhodes: Blue Mind

Painted blue and patterned with rust, the thin plywood panels and screens lean nonchalantly around the walls of the gallery and form a skyline of sorts. Across the floor sculptures intersect the space, with groupings of tall rods, waist-high enclosures, clusters of plywood shapes and a small kayak frame on salvaged seaweed and driftwood. Islands for the audience to navigate. The forms are roughly human in scale and relative to the body, generating an intensity and making this an immersive installation to wade through. 

Touching Sight

Touching Sight

Working in photography, textiles and painting, Conor Clarke (Ngāi Tahu), Emma Fitts and Oliver Perkins explore ideas of perception, both how we gain awareness through our senses, and the way in which something is interpreted or understood. Bulletin invited three writers to respond to the work in progress, to consider the materials and ways of making that each artist utilises. The resulting texts from Abby Cunnane, Fayen d’Evie and Chloe Lane are exploratory themselves, and offer us new ways of thinking about the works they relate to – as sensory items, as skins, as lichen.

Crunchify Object

Crunchify Object

      }
     return a;
}
<crunchifyObject.
G[i,j]= network connectivity matrix.

Culled from the image search “algorithms”, it is unlikely that the unconnected fragments of code above could manifest an output, but I cannot be entirely sure.

Painted Disciple

Painted Disciple

Curator Ken Hall takes time to closely investigate an intriguing recent acquisition.

Temples for Curious Minds

Temples for Curious Minds

I want to tell you a story. A ‘curiodyssey’ (which by the way, I thought I’d made up but is the name of an actual museum in California). So, a curiodyssey of happy places, told through the science of wellbeing.

The Edge of the Sea

The Edge of the Sea

A vision of New Zealand’s past from 1995:

Europeans first imagined New Zealand as “a garden and a pasture in which the best elements of British society might grow into an ideal nation”... When the smoke of the colonists’ fires cleared at the end of the 19th century, New Zealand had become a different country. Māori had lost their most precious life-support system. Only in the hilliest places did the forest still come down to the sea. Huge slices of the ancient ecosystem were missing, evicted and extinguished. Our histories, however, have had neither the sense of place nor ecological consciousness to explain what has happened.

Safe Houses, Comfort Zones

Safe Houses, Comfort Zones

In an age of crisis and pandemic, our basic human need to remain safe has seen living spaces transformed into protection zones and shells to pull back into. So it is perhaps unsurprising to see pictures of domestic interiors charging up differently, re-emerging as sites of refuge, confinement and familiar disarray. Here curator Ken Hall looks at two works from the exhibition Persistent Encounters.

Artists Should Be Giving Business Advice

Artists Should Be Giving Business Advice

There has been a healthy debate going in relation to Germany’s Covid-19 emergency fund, which allocated the equivalent of NZ$900 million to artists and freelancers, with extra support from the Berlin municipality, leading some to call it an ‘arts-led’ (as opposed to ‘business-led’) approach to recovery. Some in Germany are claiming this will have better long-term economic outcomes, whilst addressing social and wellbeing recoveries at the same time. Others – without necessarily denying the first claim – fear gentrification and the instrumentalisation of arts, when it’s overtly being used as a tool for the economy.

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