Monday 9 February 2009

Art is dead, long live art.

You know what I think? I think the Te Papa squid dissection and the Auckland Museum's shark necropsy have changed the game. They took behind-the-scenes business-as-(kinda)-usual activities, and turned them into scientific spectacles that the public lapped up.

After thinking this, I started wondering - what have art galleries here in NZ done in the past 20 years that have changed the game? And I can't think of anything. Am I missing something here, or has it just been same-old same-old for the past 2 decades?


Anonymous said...

It's all about reality TV, but in, err, real life :) Surely having artists create art live onsite counts? Except to equal squidtacular it would probably only count if it's a well-known artist (ie. from overseas, sigh), or someone creating some controvertial installation? Though I guess that's semi front-of-house. I'm not sure if, say, doing repairs on stolen artworks would draw enough punters... Now, Cops with Cameras was on tonite - maybe that's a source of inspiration???

Courtney Johnston said...

One of the best art lectures I've ever been to was Roger Blackly talking about the gunman who stole the Auckland Art Gallery's Tissot in a daylight raid to furnish a love next for his Russian bride-to-be (some aspects of that sentence may be the result of faulty recall).

While staging thefts during opening hours might be taking it a step too far, having conservators working on collection items in public spaces is happening in the States. I've watched a conservator wash a map - it's fascinating and occasionally terrifying stuff.