New Perspectives with Simon Denny
All images (+13)
Dominique Nicolau nico
Produced in collaboration with Simon Denny.
Lucinda Bennett, Rebecca Boswell, Anna Gardner, Shivanjani Lal, Louise Lever, Theodore Macdonald, Natasha Matila-Smith,Tendai John Mutambu, Bridget Riggir, Anna Sisson, George Watson, Misal Adnan Yıldız
Kayleigh Bartlett, WaiChing Chan, Ashley Douglas, Peter Gardner, Clare Gemima, Chloe Geoghegan, Kaoru Kodama, Metti Lampinen, Valasi Leota-Seiuli, Angela Liang, Ashley Pilkington, Faasisila Savila, Soar printing, Kelsi Tulafono
The act of occupying any space as a brown body is inherently political. Historically, the brown body has been a site for stigma and external possession. Louisa Afoa’s three-part project positions that same body within sites of socio-political trauma; identifying and reflecting on personal experiences of prejudice, racism and ingrained discrimination. Through documentary and time- based media, the artist provides insight into the lives of the marginalised whilst provoking both the New Zealand suburban middle class and the domi- nant white space. In doing so, she empowers the dismissed and devalued, asserting the right for the brown body to merely exist in the World. —NMS
Louisa Afoa is an Auckland-based artist and writer. She holds a BVA from AUT University. Afoa is also co- founder and contributor of critical arts website Hashtag500words as well as co-director of the artist run space RM. Recent shows include: ‘Transoceanic Visual Exchange,’ RM Gallery, Auckland; Fresh Milk Gallery, Barbados; ‘Te Ihu o Mataoho,’ ST Paul St Gallery, Auckland; ‘THE HIVE HUMS WITH MANY MINDS,’ Te Tuhi Offsite: Silo 6, Wynyard Quarter, downtown Auckland.
Ships are traditionally known as ladies; the sea vessel is gendered female, as “she”. But ships are also traditionally a man’s space. Through the humour of excess, Blair insenses the hetero- normative gaze upon nonhuman entities. Ships rhythmically submerge and reemerge in dark water, moving steadily through the ocean’s pulse to – and personified by – the aroused breath of midtempo Madonna. We imagine sailors inside. Is the ocean a woman too? Emotion Incarnate is a composition as equally erotic as it is comical. Making strange the inherent sex, power, and desire latent in this imagery, Blair’s video queers the Human reading of itself onto the world. —BR
Diva Blair is an artist currently practicing in Auckland. Recent exhibitions include: ‘Should I tell you what the actual Sistine Chapel looks like,’ RM gallery, Auckland; ‘Animidst,’ Rockies Auckland; ’13,’ Terror Management, Auckland.
Quishile Charan’s Salty Tears and Sugarcane Fields...
The space between these two words are where our bodies lie.
It’s true, we can never go back...
Our future has been altered, through a history, colo- nised and politicised by a thought line that passes from Girmit, to child, to now.
Into another country... Our body changed, our mouths and tongues changed... we speak a language made up of many... no longer haldi, no longer earth... shaped by salt water...tears and sugar cane fields...
We have become something that is no longer here...
Viti, it is only now that I can say your name. —SL
Quishile Charan is currently studying towards a BFA (Hons) at Elam School of Fine Arts. Her work looks into the history of indentured labour and its continual effects on Indo-Fijians and the political landscape of Viti, Fiji. Charan uses traditional modes of textile making and natural pigment dyeing to create an open dialogue into colonial histories. Recent exhibitions include: ‘Samundar and Haldi,’ Objectspace, Auckland.
Auckland based artist Hikalu Clarke’s proposal for the New Perspectives open call immediately conveyed, with clarity, his interest in spatial thinking and collaborative practices, particularly in the context of exhibition making. From there the premise of bringing young practices together in an ambitious exhibition together was borne. Clarke’s research into ‘counter-terrorist architecture’ was definitely a good risk to take. Not only the ways he investigates the relationships between object and occupant agency, but also his artistic approach to making things public have provided a strong base for conversations with other artists in the show. These ideas have created an exhibition design language, which defines urgent installation deci- sions in the main gallery, but also links its visual references to other spaces around it. —MAY
Hikalu Clarke was born in Japan and raised in Palmerston North. He currently lives and works in Auckland where he is currently undertaking an MFA at Whitecliffe College of Arts and Design. Hikalu was one of the co- developers of the project space DEMO.
With direct references to necromantic practices, barebacking and its fetishisation of potential sero- conversion and the desiring body, Owen’s poetry becomes a limited edition artist book that leads the reader to grasp at an unknown terrain of libidinal imagination and interrogate their own desires. This black book echoes a personal history of queer literature from Sappho to Pierre Guyotat, Comte de Lautréamont to Ariana Reines. In his tone, I hear Félix Gonzáles-Torres whispering to Ross, or imagine Peter Hujar’s lens turned on David Wojnarowicz.
Individual poems take forms that remind me of the popular game Tetris, and bring the urgency of penetrating bodies; bodies that come together or fail to do so through an interminable emotional and physical loop. how to appear to disappear will be read together with those who care for it as an off site event. Follow up with Artspace NZ team for details. —MAY
Owen Connors lives and works in Auckland. He studied at Elam and Auckland University’s writing studies department. Recent shows and work include: ‘fuck me: sex under capitalism,’ 1. Time Out bookstore, 2015; 2. During the exhibition, ‘Shadow of the Dome of Pleasure’, Artspace 2015, and 3. at rm gallery, 2016. Recent/upcoming writing in: brief, desperate, matters, fuck me, Argos Aotearoa and T.I.N.A as part of babaloose (Glasgow).
A perfectly viable threshold has been filled to forfeit its role to Charlotte Drayton’s makeshift portico, an architectural allegory which nods not directly to the historic architecture of Mediterra- nean countries, but to our self-conscious antip- odean riffing on these tropes. Although a waning trend, this affectation remains deeply revealing of a collective aspiration for something a little more cultivated – a dream which has culminated in a pervasive aesthetic of absolute ordinariness. Deliberately incited, here the descriptors ‘ordinary’ and ‘normal’ become loaded, exposing middlebrow proclivities and the implicit hierarchies they are borne of. They hint at the relative luxury of having been raised to easily decipher these gestures as shorthand for a particular way of living, or even to barely register them at all. —LB
Charlotte Drayton is based in Auckland, New Zealand. She holds an MFA (Hons) from AUT. Selected shows include: ‘Driving from the nearest city, the roads are gradually smaller, stonier, less well kept,’ with Ammon Ngakuru for the Stazione Di Topolò (Italy); ‘It must be nice to work outside on a day like today,’ commissioned by Te Tuhi for The Hive Hums; ‘A Slow Dance To Elevator Music,’ FUZZYVIBES, Auckland; Carpet Burn, Papakura Art Gallery, Auckland.
Is the counterfeit a purely fictive object? We can surely see and hold it. The counterfeit is an object that continually achieves and operates under the status of “real”. Be it the transaction of money, language, emotion, or art, exchange systems rely on our belief in the intrinsic value of things, and Fraser’s small glass coin challenges this notion. The forged coin upends structures of value and exchange, the very slipperiness of the device calling other sureties into question. But what role does a counterfeit one-dollar coin perform when it is itself made of two hundred and ten dollars worth of material? If the contemporary art gallery as a site where price and value are distorted, Fraser’s coin threatens to further destabilise the metrics and axioms of both. —BR
Matilda Fraser is an artist and writer who holds a BFA from Massey University, Wellington and an MFA from Elam School of Fine Arts, Auckland. Recent shows include: ‘liquid assets,’ Rockies, Auckland; ‘A singularly minute distribution,’ George Fraser Gallery, Auckland; ‘Ways of Looking,’ Enjoy/ Wellington Public Sculpture. She was the 2015 Writer-in-Residence at Blue Oyster Art Project Space, Dunedin, producing a series of nested texts entitled Against Efficiency about the nature of criticism.
One can easily recognise such a diversity of media in Motoko Kikkawa’s studio in Dunedin. The meth- odological aspects of her ongoing artistic research and production, which vary from drawings to sound, performance to paper works, sculpture to photog- raphy, consistently appear in all these forms with unique articulations. Kikkawa defines her artistic perspective as materially based, and refers to her walks in relation to a search for artistic ideas:
“When I’m walking I’m always trying to find interest- ing materials for art. Material in this context is not paint or canvas but things from the world. Anything could be material for art and not just physical artefact but unformed things such as war, sadness, accidents, strategy, disease, desire.” —MAY
Motoko Kikkawa was born in Japan and currently lives and works in Dunedin as an artist and musician. She holds aBachelor of Philosophy from Nihon University, Tokyo and aBFA from Otago Polytechnic, Dunedin. Recent exhibitions include: ‘there is always something behind anything,’ Fine art gallery Inge Doesburg, Dunedin and ‘2015 iD2K16,’ Blue Oyster Art Project Space, Dunedin.
Close to the artist’s heart is the need to create a contemporary archive of the queer communities in Aotearoa New Zealand. Queer Words is made up of gender identity, gender variances, gender assign- ment, pronoun choice, phrases used to describe the queer communities and labels informed by default socio-linguistic codes. Queer Words aims
to reveal and consider an expanding queer lexicon where words can perform their meanings. Lever’s research explores the relationships between signified/signifier and the nature of binary thought (heterosexual as the ‘norm’ and homosexuality as ‘deviant’). The artist’s hope is to make visible the underlying hetero-normative language system and how it can be challenged by speaking subjects who talk from their own perspectives and bodies. —LL
Louise Lever is an artist and writer based in Melbourne. She holds a MFA (Hons) from the Elam School of Fine Arts, Auckland. Previous shows include: the 24th Annual Wallace
Art Awards, the 2015 National Contemporary Art Award and Wharepuke Sculpture Park.
The Muppet Show, along with Dick Van Dyke and Saturday Night Live, sits within a history of television programming that disrupts its own narrative by addressing itself as televised fiction. In an inter- view from the period in which this TV episode was created, Alice Cooper aligns himself with perceived outsiders, taking progressive approaches to the subjects of gender and sexuality. Now a born again Christian and registered Republican, Cooper shares little politically with his past self The Voice of Doom is a video collage taking moments from The Muppet Show’s “Alice Cooper” episode and wrapping them in a digital frame depicting the episode’s (officially recognised) production crew. How can an audience identify the multiple belief systems that coalesce into the products that build a shared cultural language? How can an audience react when those that created these products no longer hold the opinions they aided in the development of? —TM
Theo Macdonald is based in Auckland and currently completing a BFA (Hons) degree at the University of Auckland. His work is predominantly based in video and performance. Past exhibitions include: ‘Avoiding Climax: Bella and Theo Understand it Better but the Frog Dies’ (with Isabella Dampney) at Window Gallery, ‘I Think We Should Put Some Mountains Here’ (with Isabella Dampney) at Rockies, and ‘Is It The Beginning of a New Age’ at The Engine Room.
Not a topographical map of identity, but an instance of it in process, Mancini’s moodboard shows us the multifaceted nature of belonging and being at the margins of her Tongan culture. The weave of the artist’s Google history acts as a splice of identity in a state of continual becoming. Here the everyday act of a Google search becomes a negotiation with the hegemonic—the mundane is not often thought of as a part of indigenous experience or strug-
gle. Compressing the present with a pre-colonial Pacific, Mancini’s collaging shows how many spaces can exist inside of a marginal one, and that identity is never coded from a singular term, or time. —BR
Huni Mancini is an artist, activist and researcher of Tongan (Niuatoputapu/ Mu’a) and Italian (Rovigo) heritage based on Waiheke Island. She is currently writing a Masters thesis with the social sciences department of Film, Media and Television at The University of Auckland titled “Fourth World Indigenous Knowledge Systems in Digital Game Development”.
In recontextualising the term propaganda, Tiger Murdoch’s approach to spreading the word begins with the poster. The poster as a highly visible and accessible tool requires only the most basic of signifiers to appeal to the subliminal. Transparency and discussion are at the forefront of the artist’s new propaganda, hoping to empower the disem- powered and provide a voice for the silenced. As the global issue of inequality rapidly rises and the New Zealand epidemic of homelessness persists, Tiger Murdoch’s works aim to destabilise a societal value system that prioritises the accumulation of wealth and material over the well-being of its people. —NMS
Tiger Murdoch holds an MFA from Elam School of Fine Arts, Auckland and has been working in public spaces throughout Aotearoa New Zealand over the past two years. Recent awards and exhibitions include: ‘Artists without Border, “Freedom,” St Genevieve, Missouri, USA and National Contemporary Art Award Finalist, Waikato Museum, New Zealand (2016).
Dominique Nicolau, nico
The human body requires food, or more precisely it requires nutrients. Both subjects continue to be a source of great geo- and bio-political conflict – an issue to which Dominique Nicolau’s research and practice remains deeply attuned.
Her work brings together the future of a post-food, post-human society, with her ongoing interest in science fiction, anticolonial critiques and ecological activism. Central to this project is the eponymous nicofood Thickie, nico’s very own nutrient-rich liquid meal replacement – engineered to efficiently provide all your nutritional require- ments. Following an event at Artspace where the nicofood Thickie will be served and consumed, an open-source recipe will remain as an index. With the do-it-yourself ethos of a Fluxus event score, nicofood becomes a gateway smart-food that nour- ishes, completely and efficiently for optimal brain function. —TJM
Dominique Nicolau, nico holds a MFA Research Portfolio from Elam 2016. She is a multi-disciplinary artist, researcher, writer who works predominantly with sculpture, sound, film and installation. Recent solo show ‘The Exegesis of Dominique Nicolau or The Cult of The Crystal’ at George Fraser, 2016. Recent curated show ‘Food’ at Project Space B431, 2015.
Aroha Novak’s installation emerges from a two year research project in which she initiated a series of platforms to encourage dialogue focused on the languishing site of the former Carisbrook Stadium. Her embroidered sketches of images and key words, edited from public feedback, gently but assuredly convey a message. They float on hired fences, which mark and divide the space, allotting it into planes and squares, differentiating this space and that. Crucially, the fences here only gesture to inside and outside. They bend the usual purpose of a temporary fence as both a physical barrier to access and a temporal signifier dividing then and now. These fences instead defer to a modulation or moderation of movement through space in service of edited echoes of public imagi- nation. —AG
Aroha Novak is a multi-disciplinary artist living and working in Ōtepoti (Dunedin). Novak has been exhibiting consistently since 2008 in project spaces, public galleries and derelict sites in Te Wai Pounamu (the South Island). She graduated from the Dunedin School of Art with an MFA in Sculpture in 2013.
George Rump’s collages work with histories, both filmic and personal, recorded through various formats and warped by the passing of time. From the chaos of subjective experience, these memories accumulate to form a library of personal artefacts, like a prosthetic visual memory. None of the constituent parts of the collage belong to the artist. His source material is taken without a necessary claim to ownership. In this vein, his work calls to mind the Situationist strategy of détourne- ment through its re-routing and hijacking of found imagery. Although an anachronistic medium, the iconic Polaroid film used in parts of Memento 2000 – at once nostalgic and forensic – brings to bear a brutal convergence of several elements, all coalescing around the artist’s own subjectivity. —TJM
George Rump was born in Portsmouth, United Kingdom and now lives and works in Aotearoa New Zealand. He was a co-founder of Terror Internationale Artist Initiative. Recent work includes: ‘Pacific Realtime Project,’ Auckland Art Fair; ‘Friday 13th Group show,’ Terror Internationale, Auckland; ‘The Bill: For a Collective Unconscious,’ Artspace, Auckland; ‘Universe City,’ George Fraser Gallery, Auckland; Published work in Le Roy Magazine Issue 3 & 4; Photo Series in L R Magazine (2015).
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Schroder’s accompanying floor texts are often an intricate mix of opaque legalese and finance jargon, wryly referencing the hermetic and often impenetrable logic of these fields. In a similar vein, the above advertorial exposes the speciousness of horoscopes and the precariousness of ‘hope’. Schroder’s exhibited works – once part of a larger installation – bear traces of the aspirational: gilt accoutrements to a once-decadent vision now desiccated and outmoded, well past their use-by date. —TJM
Mark Schroder is an Auckland based artist. He completed a Master of Art and Design at AUT in 2015. Recent exhibitions include: ‘Swimming the 109,’ Glovebox, Auckland; ‘The Hive Hums With Many Minds, part two, Te Tuhi Offsite, Silo6,’ Auckland; and ‘Adjacent Industries (Rainfades), FUZZYVIBES, Auckland.
Framed was created as a hopeful idea of a future. A utopia from the perspective of a queer feminist; where the future moves away from the white space and allows disregarded bodies a space to shelter from the storm outside. The storm is representative of the reality outside of this ideal space – horrible and unconquerable – and the comfort of finding a way out. The title Framed explores the pun of space being boarded off as well as the unjustified accusation onto an innocent person. The screen is small in standard dimensions but has potential
to generate endless space. Science, technology, dimensions, searching, learning, and the unknown open up the possibilities for new ways to search for a future where undiscovered space can be used to create a new environment for those who never had one to begin with. —AS
Anna Sisson is in her honours year at Elam. Recent exhibitions include: ‘remnants of the banished’ at Michael Lett gallery, Auckland, ‘Kiss me or kill me’ at George Fraser, Auckland, ‘a group show’ at Terror International, Auckland and was also represented by Terror International at the Auckland Art Fair. She experiments with a wide range of media including video, photography, painting, sculpture and installation.
The brightly coloured backdrop calls to mind a green screen where actions are performed for film, soon to be made virtual. And yet the tactility of the roughly hewn bronze sculptures, teetering on the edge of stands, insistently beckons the viewer’s touch. Here Spinoza’s question ‘What can a body do?’ seems apposite. Our embodied subjectivity is tested when we – as viewers and actors – perform subtle acts of lifting and shifting the sculptural forms in Actionadaptation around the gallery space. To this end, the artist cites Franz Erhard Walther’s challenge for art to be a way of ‘doing’; in this instance a way of performing within the sculpture’s expanded field. Actionadaptation questions the precariousness of bodies in the age of new media in which, as Amelia Jones states, ‘we do not know how to imagine ourselves except as an image’. —JM
Hannah Valentine is an Auckland based artist whose practice is based around the body, movement and participation. She completed a BFA (Hons)/BA from The University of Auckland, and returned in 2016 to work towards an MFA. Recent exhibitions include: ‘The Arena,’ Glovebox, Auckland; ‘Three lefts make a right,’ North Projects, Christchurch and ‘At-one-moment,’ Pilot, Hamilton.
1991 is a video work by Tim Wagg featuring recent memoirs from one of the most contentious politicians in NZ history. Between 1990-93 Ruth Richardson, then Minister of Finance, headed major economic reforms under a National-led govern- ment, continuing advances towards a free-market economy that had begun with Labour in the mid 1980s. In the video, political cartoons, literature and home gym equipment feature in imagery of the former politician’s home, as Richardson intimately articulates her commitment to ideas of economic progress, innovation and individual freedom. Notions of disruption and technological transfor- mation revealed as driving forces in her work are also explored in the video with tracking shots of a 3D printer. 1991 offers an account of the free-mar- ket reforms to the economy, but in this retelling, combined audio and imagery mean authorship, historical memory and singularity play into perspec- tives of our present-day political system. —RB
Tim Wagg is an artist currently based in Auckland. He holds a BFA from Elam School of Arts. Recent shows include: ‘You can’t put your hands around a memory,’ Glovebox, Auckland, ‘Let The Cobbler Stick to His Last,’ New York, ‘One does not pet a rattlesnake until it has been defanged; only then does one take it on the road so that one and all can marvel at its natural beauty,’ The Physics Room, Christchurch, ‘Probstian Aesthetic,’ Blue Oyster Gallery, Dunedin, ‘Wasteland,’ Gus Fisher Gallery, Auckland.
As a young lesser known brown female artist, Faith Wilson represents the antithesis of Simon Denny: a white male artist in a public and privileged position. In her proposal, Faith recounted the numerous ways in which she was ill-suited for the New Perspectives exhibition but applied anyway. Her presence in the line-up surely counters that opinion, proving that such a perspective is at the very least, desired. The resulting works spring from a series of powerful social encounters that express a need to retain sovereignty and a crushing vulnerability that inadvertently seeks out white patriarchal validation through a romantic lens; the only way the artist may be able to relate to the white male narrative. —NMS
Faith Wilson is an artist and writer from Kirikiroa who is now based in Te Whanganaui-a-Tara. She completed her BA in English Literature and Philosophy at Waikato University, Honours in English Literature and MA in Creative Writing at Victoria University/International Institute of Modern Letters. She moves between the disciplines of writing, performance and video.
Kōkako and Wētā, each with their own differently patterned flights, movements, habits, migratory routes. Each with their own particular inflec- tions, their own expressivities deeply embedded, localised and connected to specific regions and ancestral grounds. Anonymous sibling duo ‘Yllwbro’ reclaim imagery of species indigenous to Aotearoa; beings so often lifted by culture industries and instrumentalised as signs of a stable national identity.
To tauparapara, to play, to collaborate can be a lively process involving ongoing negotiations in developing shared languages to imagine worlds in alliance with another.‘Yllwbro’ make in partnership, using image making as a potent mechanism for rewriting, reclaiming and propagating new repre- sentations. —GW
Yllwbrois a collaborative sibling duo that began working together as students. Yllwbro wishes to remain an anonymous partnership and would like to acknowledge the generous support of Ursula Cranmer in this process.
Ko Ruapehu te maunga
Ko Whanganui te awa
Ko Tūroa te tangata
Ko atawhai Te Āti Haunui-a-Pāpārangi i ōku whanaunga