A Torch and a Light
Shannon Te Ao is an artist of Ngāti Tūwharetoa descent. In 2016 Te Ao won the Walters Prize for his works, two shoots that stretch far out (2013–14) and okea ururoatia (never say die) (2016). Working in video and other performative practices Te Ao investigates the implications of various social and linguistic modes. Assistant curator Nathan Pohio, himself a nominee for the 2016 Walters Prize, discussed working practice with Te Ao in December 2016.
Not Quite Human
Lara Strongman: The title of your new work for the Gallery is Quasi. Why did you call it that?
Ronnie van Hout: Initially it was a working title. Because the work would be outside the Gallery, on the roof, I was thinking of Quasimodo, from Victor Hugo’s The Hunchback of Notre-Dame. I was coming out of a show and research around the idea of the freak, the outsider and things that are rejected—thinking about how even things that are rejected have a relationship to whatever they’ve been rejected by. And I called it Quasi, because it’s a human form that’s not quite human as well. The idea of something that resembles a human but is not quite human.
Fly Shit on the Windscreen
In February 2016, Bulletin sent graphic designer and motorbike enthusiast Luke Wood to sit down with artist Billy Apple to discuss bikes, and in particular the Britten V1000. Designed and built in Christchurch by John Britten, the V1000 is the star of Apple’s new exhibition, Great Britten! A Work by Billy Apple. The following extracts were taken from the conversation.
When we asked Tony de Lautour to produce a new work for the Bunker—the name Gallery staff give to the small, square elevator building at the front of the forecourt on Montreal Street—he proposed a paint scheme inspired by Dazzle camouflage. Associated with the geometric near-abstraction of the vorticist movement, Dazzle was developed by British and American artists during the First World War to disguise shipping. It was a monumental form of camouflage that aimed not to hide the ship but to break up its mass visually and confuse enemies about its speed and direction. In a time before radar and sonar were developed, Dazzle was designed to disorientate German U-boat commanders looking through their periscopes, and protect the merchant fleets.
Senior curator Lara Strongman spoke with Tony de Lautour in late January 2016.
Patrick Pound, gathering thoughts through things
Based in Melbourne Patrick Pound is simultaneously artist, collector, curator, visual list maker and lecturer in photography. He spoke with Serena Bentley, Assistant Curator of Contemporary Art at the National Gallery of Victoria, about the logic of documents and museums of things.
The significance of everyday things
During the winter of 1984 my mother, father and I packed an overnight bag and climbed into Dad’s Hillman Hunter. I was five years old and, as far as I could remember, it was the first time we’d ever ventured outside of Blenheim.
Jonathan Mane-Wheoki: teacher
There are some teachers you remember all your life: extraordinary individuals who view learning as a boundless source of energy, both for themselves and their students. This sort of teacher has not only total command of their subject, but an infectious enthusiasm for it that transmits itself to the minds of others. Teachers like this create advocates for their subject. They impart knowledge, but more importantly they show you a way of being in the world. It's a rare teacher who teaches you how to learn, but Jonathan Mane-Wheoki was one such individual.
Bringing threads together
Dr Lara Strongman is the Gallery's new senior curator. She speaks to Bulletin about her passion for writing and art history, the importance of culture in a post-earthquake community and the contemporary curator.
Back on 20 September 2011, when our public programmes team began setting up the Hagley Park Geo Dome for a talk with Shane Cotton, they put out about sixty chairs and would have been glad to fill them. After all, it was a cold night in Christchurch, the roads were rough, the Geo Dome was off the beaten track and the quake had long since broken the rhythm of the Gallery's old Wednesday night programme of public talks.