Wednesday 27 August 2014

On the radio

Today on the radio I'll be talking about art-inspired internet memes, and Te Papa's rehang of Nga Toi

Sunday 17 August 2014

Open wide

Walking towards Te Papa this morning, through the fruit and vege market in the adjacent carpark, and then onwards to City Gallery via the harbour front, it struck me again how much that building seals itself off from the activities and interactions taking place on the waterfront. The entrance to Te Papa doesn't meld in with any of the natural paths in that area, but nor does it provide that feeling of anticipation that the classical frontage of the old Museum created.

I thought about this again this afternoon after instapapering up this interview with Renzo Piano about the museum projects he has worked on, and particularly this comment
All the buildings you mentioned—they “fly.” They are rooted, but they lift up, above the ground and that lets light to come under and inside and allow the ritual of the city life to merge with the ritual of the building life. By lifting the building, the ground floor becomes almost a continuation of the public realm. You leave space beneath it for life to happen.
It reminded me of hearing, years ago, Dan Hill talk about the State Library of Queensland. Of course, the clemency of your climate plays a significant role in your ability to embrace the world, but there's a generosity there that I think is incredibly important.

(See also Dan Hill's follow-up work with SLQ and the way the environment was used, particularly in relation to the wi-fi availability.)

Tuesday 12 August 2014


I'm not sure if it's new, or new to me, but I've just discovered Te Ara's 'Creative and Intellectual Life' section.*

Sections include Roger Blackley on the history of art galleries and collecting, Peter Ireland on photography and Rebecca Rice and Mark Williams on criticism (art and literary). Other sections include anthropology, libraries, theatre design and more.

*The section title is happy-making in itself - unapologetic and standing tall in a time whne where I'm looking for art stories on a newspaper site I generally have to make a call between 'lifestyle' and 'entertainment'.

Monday 11 August 2014


Expansionist or localist, idealist or realist: this article in the NYT about digital goals at the Met and Brooklyn Museum shows how much the BM's thinking has changed as a result of the ambitious experiments resulting decisions vice director Shelley Bernstein has made.

I would argue that the BM is far closer to where of the world's art galleries should be looking, and it's increasingly unrealistic to take the behemoths as our role models.

Thursday 7 August 2014

And now, for some backlash

Jake Chapman's comments about kids in galleries are creating some column inches (pixels?)

Dea Birkett in The Guardian

Anthony Gormley and Will Gompertz for the BBC

Summing it up for the New Statesman

More in The Times (behind a paywall)