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Blog Archives
Sophie Bannan: Cyan ides

Sophie Bannan 
Cyan ides
24 September to 10 October 2020

Gelignite admits the fire
Vein obsequies scabs
Kōtukutuku admits the gorse

track the common scrubby associated –

Water drives those two hills
Deep gully receives the milk

go up the suitably-inscribed fine to moderate grained –

Sluice scabs the layers
Cyanide scrutineers
Water wrenches
Continuance drives the swines

persuade the auriferous sound bounded –

Māwheranui locates the body
High hedge locates the moonlight
Grey River receives continuance

run the cool flattened –

Mullock steams the bush gullies
Mists pace the shapes
Bush flat persuades the vein

run the encompassing driven –

Timber inspects the firewood
Quartz reef learns the river

relax down grassed bounded wet –

Kāmahi receives the water
Gold approaches

split the more open cool driven –

__

Sophie Bannan (b. 1989, Aotearoa New Zealand) is an artist and writer living in Tāmaki Makaurau. Her research is multi-modal, working across image and object making, writing, publishing and curating.

Marlo and Ena Kosovac

Marlo and Ena Kosovac
Conduits, props, leftovers and other attempts to reach across irreducible differences in the search for knowledge of an intimate other

24 September to 10 October 2020

In Space R you’ll find several of my attempts so far to draw back the curtain of another’s accountable experience through objects that act as a channel towards more intimate knowledge of his world. The ‘another’ in question is Marlo – a nine-year-old Rottweiler and the love of my life. Through the building and shifting of our relationship over time, which in turn has shifted how objects are made in this practice, I have come to think of Marlo very seriously as a collaborator and co-creator.

I tell you this because it feels strange even writing this little piece of text all on my own, without his input. Which, of course, would be impossible anyway. It has been a knotty problem. How do I avoid putting words into Marlo’s mouth? How do I avoid speaking for him? How do I avoid simply imagining his world, instead of getting to know a slice of it in a real, material way? At the same time, there is a risk of poking my nose into affairs that are not my own to access. I don’t think Marlo would care, but it’s something to ponder.

In putting a toe over the smudgy threshold of our different ways of being as members of two separate species, I hope to take deeper notice of the undefinable in others through co-created social intimacies and the ‘worlding’ of mutual grounds – all mediated through sculptural objects as gadgets of play and exploration.

And, because I’m sure I’m not the only nosy person out there, I invite you to do the same. Please feel free to touch and experience any of the objects in the space (if you want to). There will be sanitising wipes and sprays on-hand to help prevent other, more deadly, critters from joining in.

Giulio Laura & Fabio Meliffi : Mining: Twenty-First Century Raw Material


Space R
3 Sept – 19 Sept 2020
For us, disavowed materials form our local habitats and exist as a byproduct of human activity. 

The practice of Mining is to appropriate oneself with otherwise unclaimed resources and collect this free basic material, The Twenty-First Century Raw Material. This abundance of seemingly infinite materia affords our process welcoming experimentation and failure. We mine what we value.

“Technological Disobedience” the Cuban’s systematic disrespect towards complexity, closeness, and exclusionary characteristics of industrial objects’ logics – Ernesto Oroza. “Worker, build your own machinery” Che Guevara Insisted in a 1961 speech as the Republic of Cuba faces scarcity of resources due to the country’s economical and political crisis. Cuban workers were to strategize a self-production, repair, reuse and repurpose. A re-appropriation of technologies took place and trickled down from an industrial necessity to domestic commonplace.

In the 21st century, technology is evermore airtight, closed to the user, rejecting repair and facilitating disposal. Intervene on the object’s authority by repairing it, capitalizing on planned obsolescence becoming a co-designer to the open-source ecosystem. 

Home is a laboratory.

-OpenCo

Turumeke Harrington : Te Āwhiowhio Suck it up!


Space M
3 Sept – 19 Sept 2020

Rules, logics and codes are carefully considered by artist Turumeke Harrington. Harrington frames this exhibition, Te Āwhiowhio Suck it up!, as a type of pause between a tight turnaround of five, separate solo exhibitions. The show follows on from overlapping exhibitions at Objectspace and the RM booth for May Fair Art Fair, and precedes upcoming shows at Corban Estate Arts Centre and Toi Poneke Gallery. Te Āwhiowhio Suck it up! is the mid-way point, the middle of the wall so to speak, as good a place as any to stop and reconsider what makes a good hang.

This exhibition revisits components—LED light bulbs, cords, steel, rope—from Harrington’s last two exhibitions. These materials are more commonly associated with the functional. Here, however, conventional supports are intentionally rendered purposeless. Light bulbs shine in a room already filled with natural light. Rope cords are threaded through brackets, neither of which hold or suspend anything. Their functionality short-circuited, it is the otherwise overlooked formal decisions that come to the fore. When should a bracket be hot pink, and when should it be yellow? What is the best colour for cords and ropes? When should a lightbulb be hung upright and when should it be hung facing down?

Sam Clague: Drink The Ocean

Drink The Ocean
29 July — 15 August 2020

…But how did we do this? How were we able to drink up the sea? Who gave us the sponge to wipe away the entire horizon? What were we doing when we unchained this earth from its sun? Where is it moving to now? Where are we moving to? Away from all suns? Are we not continually falling?… 

Friedrich Nietzsche, The Gay Science

Drink The Ocean is an exhibition that explores the object-as-information, and the semiotic payloads indivisibly accrued by even the most quotidian object in the global contemporary environment. 

Clague’s works are elisions in the true sense of the word: as aporia, an irresolvable internal contradiction that gets to the heart of what it means to both reject and join forces with our turbid desires. Perhaps it’s something like the poet Anne Waldman describes when she takes on the dark spirit of Richard Nixon during a fire puja ceremony: in order to generate more compassion for the world we have to let in the negative energies as well as the positive.  

Abbra Kotlarczyk, Art+Australia Online

Joanna Neumegen, Emmanuel Sarmiento and Jessie Howell: Could I steal a moment?

Could I steal a moment?
29 July — 15 August 2020

Memory like death has a way of seizing time.

I think about keepsakes and mementos as symbols of fear. Fear of forgetting and fear of being forgotten. Emblems of evanescence. A key to unlock the door to a placeless time or a timeless place.

I often think about what I’d grab if the house was burning down. It could only be something small enough to run with. My phone or that photo? I can always get a new phone… I can also think of them without their picture. Have you ever closed your eyes and pictured a face? Forcing the image onto the backdrop behind your eyelids. I can secure a shape, but as I grasp at it and try to look closer, the translucent impression shifts and the details escape me.

There is an argument to be made that perhaps all existence is escapism. The only realities we are capable of inhabiting are our escaped ones. If this strong view turns out to be true, then the only way to directly experience escape would be to die. The ultimate crash.

In the car yesterday my chest got tight and I was scared we would die on that motorway. Why do I fear death? Maybe because it’s the ultimate surrender of control. Every time I dream I’m in a car I’m always in the passenger’s seat anyway. Why are we so obsessed with eternal life?

Sometimes I feel fine. Other times I’m gripped by uncontrollable fear. I disassociate and everything around me is a bit too bright a bit too abstract. Some omen is telling me something bad is going to happen. The consequences of living life like Hannah Montana. Hanging suspended from everyone I once was. A subject shaped in response to a network of associations, conversations, things I’ve latched onto; receipts of my existence. Every secret I hold onto is a notch on my belt, hung in the
wardrobe of my former selves.

Everything was forever until it wasn’t.

Becky Richards – Sand-Pit

What shape are your thoughts?

If your feelings of delight, or empowerment, fear or sorrow were given concrete form, what might they look like?

Inside each body sprawls the desert of the mind.
An ever-changing internal topology, studded with land marks, swept clean or flooded by weathers of thought and mood.

These rolling dunes are punctuated with strange grammar:
the biting mouths of despair,
jagged cliffs of anxiety,
exultant trunks of purpose and power,
oozing slugs of low energy,
a sprouting garden of fresh ideas…

Becky Richards presents a new body of experimental ceramic work, bound together through simple, spatial logic. Her research is led by material processes, and follows a continuous flow between the world of the mind and the realm of matter – fulfilling both her inherent need to make things, and the necessity of keeping herself happy and well.

Matilda Fraser – His trunk for a hand, and his foot for a scythe

Tom, a four-year-old Ceylon elephant, was gifted to the Duke of Edinburgh in Kolkata and brought to New Zealand on the ship Galatea in 1870. Aboard the ship, he was “pampered with biscuits, pea soup and tobacco… of the latter he was very fond”. After arriving in Auckland, Tom was taken to the Albert Barracks, where he was housed for the duration of his stay along with his friend, a tortoise, who “chiefly serve[d] as a pedestal for children to stand upon all day”.

Tom was a source of curiosity and awe for the people of Auckland. He was also a heavy drinker and was frequently plied with beer and spirits by members of the public and the soldiers that he lived with. During his stay, he was put to work at Maungawhau, quarrying basalt and scoria, and hauled the trig platform, which denotes the highest natural point in Auckland’s landscape, to the summit of the maunga. For this work, he was rewarded with sticky buns and beer at the local public house.

When the Duke’s tour of the colonies ended, Tom was taken to England; whereupon while being transported between Plymouth and London, Tom panicked at the movement of the train and crushed his keeper to death against the side of the carriage.

Tom died young, at about sixteen years of age, in 1882 at the Dublin Zoo. His skeleton remains at the Trinity College Zoological Museum in Dublin.

Matilda Fraser (BFA Hons, 2012, Massey University; MFA 2016, Elam) is an artist and writer based in Te Whanganui-a-Tara. Recent shows include Poet No. 2 at The Booth, Gus Fisher Gallery, 2019; The Race Marches Forward on the Feet of Little Children, Blue Oyster Art Project Space, 2018; I digress, Enjoy Public Art Gallery, 2017; The Eight Hours Plan, Mason’s Screen, 2017; New Perspectives, Artspace, 2016. 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. In 2020, she will undertake the Toi Pōneke Visual Arts Residency.

Matilda Fraser’s project is supported by Creative New Zealand.

Vivienne Worn – Retracings

Retracings
17 June — 4 July


Retracings began with repeat visits to the physical archive held at RM Gallery and Project Space before morphing with the pandemic into a painterly response to the archive from afar. Utilizing drawings, ideas and materials gathered prior to lockdown, time slowed, and an extended experiment in painting on silk ensued. As such, Retracings negotiates the territory between moments drawn from the RM Archive and the subjective feeling of painting, permeated by a surreal episode in global affairs.

The RM Archive was established in 2009 as an accessible archive of exhibition invites, publications and artists ephemera with an aim for it to be experimental, flexible and evolving. It is an archive started and run by artists for the wider community it serves. Formed and collected by multiple authors over time, the first thing noted is a sense of overwhelming labour within the room. Aware of how much energy is required to stage a single project, this room overflows with the trace of people and communities working. Assuming much of the work has been unpaid, the Archive could be said to represent an ongoing record of creative dreams, persistence and hope. Publications held offer a distinct international flavour as RM places itself within a global art scene of artist run initiatives, with local archive boxes sharing shelf space with texts and images from Berlin, Korea, Melbourne and the US. Painting in response, moments discovered in the archive and publications have been mixed and repeatedly re-drawn, then through light washes on silk, floated together. In this way the project aims to think through painting alongside a physical archive, while also reflecting on local to international aspirations.

Rebecca Steedman – The weight of things

The weight of things
17 June — 4 July

This body work exploits the potential of clay, in its raw, unfired (malleable) state, to capture surfaces, as well as the impact of movement and falling. For example, this work measures the height of the gallery through a series of falling cups. Original forms begin as cups, bowls, vases and plates, common domestic ware forms, those recognisable to people from daily use. These (often failed, broken, having lost their traditional function) ceramics become sculptural, and absurdly reference the moment of impact which re-shaped them. At the heart of it the interest is in the investment we have in daily objects in communicating abstract ideas or qualities… the funny way we try and capture and explain the world around us through another form. Initial inspiration was geological (a small amount of found clay retrieved from rail developments in the local area is included within the glazes) these rail developments unearth rocks and minerals that reference significant shifts within the earth’s crust over vast periods of time, which we use to understand the historic and ongoing formation of our landscapes. This work explores the immediate surfaces within and around the gallery.

Text by Becky Richards here

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