Wednesday 30 January 2008

Turn around bright eyes

Since beginning blogging again this year, I've been meaning to write about the shows I saw in New Plymouth and Hamilton over the break - but I just can't summon up the words.

After years of looking forward to the Govett-Brewster's summer shows, which always seem to have been programmed to pull in the Christmas art-nomads, this year's selection felt stale. I think it may have been my shortest-ever visit.

Meanwhile, 'Existence: Life according to art' has been throughly canvassed on John Hurrell's site. My main take-out from the show was the question: can artists exert any control over the showing of works that they no longer own? If, for example, you felt your work had nothing to do with creation myths? Or if your work was included in one of those resuscitation shows - "unfairly overlooked artists of the 1970s"? A woman artist's work included in a show curated from a feminist standpoint you don't share?

So - onwards and upwards. It's nearly February, the dealers are opening again, there's a bunch of busy artists out there, new baby artists are about to start their first year at art school, and soon the Barrs (and hopefully Peter P and One moment caller) will start blogging again. 2008 is about to start in earnest.


Anonymous said...

I just love this blog title - it's a work of art in itself.

Anonymous said...

Agree about the G-BAG show - with the exception of Firebush, and a passing interest in the film work, it just did nothing for me. Interesting that they won't show traditional Maori or even traditional European New Zealand art, but happy to show what appears to be traditional Aboriginal art.

Courtney Johnston said...

Words go through some complex moves here: traditional, customary, post-contact ...

I think the thing that made the Aboriginal painting show hard for me was that, having had very little exposure to this tradition of art-making - bar what I've seen at the NGV - I didn't have a lot to work from. And fair cop, the onus is sometimes on the viewer to look, think, read, learn - but an over-stuffed hang isn't conducive to this.

The GBAG has had, in the time I've known it (which does overlap with Greg Burke's tenure), such a strong visual language that whatever you're confronted / presented with when you roll up, whether it's American or German, Australian or Indonesian, you've had a basis to work from. I had no basis for getting into this show.