Exhibition

Michael Parekowhai: On First Looking into Chapman’s Homer

30 June – 29 July 2012

Michael Parekowhai's spectacular Venice Biennale installation returns home for its first post-Biennale showing in New Zealand.

After a triumphant exhibition at the 54th Venice Biennale, and its most recent presentation at the renowned musée du quai Branly in Paris, Michael Parekowhai's spectacular installation returns home for its first post-Biennale showing in New Zealand. Surprise, humour and a showman's panache are the hallmarks of Parekowhai's art and never has that been better demonstrated than in On First Looking into Chapman's Homer. A richly carved red Steinway piano will be played throughout the exhibition in a room overlooking the inner-city red zone, while on the vacant ground below two bronze grand pianos, each supporting a life-sized cast bull, take their place amongst the earthquake debris.

Opening hours: Monday to Friday 10am to 5pm, Saturday and Sunday 10am to 4pm.

NG is at 212 Madras Street, Christchurch. Please note the exhibition space is upstairs with no lift access.

Group Tours of the exhibition are available
Book a free tour for your group of friends, work, school or community group. Please contact us to arrange a date and time and we'll have one of our volunteer guides meet you in the exhibition space to take you for an informative floortalk. Tours last 30-45 minutes; bookings essential.

  • Location: 212 Madras Street
  • Exhibition number: 905
  • Part of
    Outer Spaces
  • Presented with
    NG
  • Exhibition Supporters
    CNZ
  • Exhibition Supporters
    Te Papa
  • Exhibition Supporters
    Telstra Clear
  • Exhibition Supporters
    Newstalk ZB
  • Exhibition Supporters
    Apex

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When 'Chapman’s Homer' was exhibited at the edge of the devastated central city in 2012, it was positioned between ruin and rebuild just outside the cordon in an empty lot on Madras Street. Our bull stood beside his seated brother while a red carved Steinway piano was played upstairs in an adjacent building. Over thirty days, Parekowhai’s work caught the public imagination as a symbol of the resilience of local people. At once strong and refined, a brutal force of nature and a dynamic work of culture, Chapman’s Homer resonated with local audiences. Subsequently, a public fundraising campaign kept the bull in Christchurch. Chapman’s Homer was first exhibited in Venice, where Parekowhai represented New Zealand at the 2011 Venice Biennale. It travelled to Christchurch after being shown at the Musée de quai Branly in Paris. Over the past year, we’ve shown it at a number of sites around the city as part of the Gallery's Outer Spaces programme, including Worcester Boulevard, Placemakers Riccarton, New Regent Street, and most recently at Christchurch International Airport. And now the bull is back – standing strong in its permanent home at Te Puna o Waiwhetu Christchurch Art Gallery, welcoming visitors to our reopening exhibitions. (December 2015)
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