Blog Archives
The Killing – Nuisance

9 June – July 3

The Killing

Nuisance ; a thing, person or situation that is annoying or causes trouble or problems.

But at whose and what expense? Under whose regime, does this ‘culprit’ cause ‘trouble’ toward? This “Nuisance” demonstrates a conjoined, concrete and fluid approach to body making, presentation of body, and self determination.

The Killing is composed of bodies that align themselves with principles of self determination, self authoring, and liberation; from the current regimes of dominance, that historically have attempted to designate subjectivities and construct bodies; including our own.

JA Kennedy – Structure Signalling (Logical Structure or Relating to Something That Happened)

Jonathan Alexander Kennedy
Structure Signalling (Logical Structure or Relating to Something That Happened)

9 June – July 3

Looking for Signal 

Looking for Escobedo 

Where is Elena?

A conversation with interrupted events

The language of interruptions

I lose signal four times every work day. The first time is when the Southern Line train goes through the tunnel before Parnell. The second time is when the train enters Britomart Train Station. Then reverse when I catch the train home. The signal loss is barely noticeable. It just suspends events in time. If I’m on a phone call, the line doesn’t cut but neither person can hear each other for a minute or so. If I click a link on my phone, the page takes a little longer to load. 

The Encyclopaedia Britannica defines “signal” in a communication context as “an interruption in a field of constant energy transfer.” For example, “dots and dashes that open and close the electromagnetic field of a telegraph circuit,” the “tapping of a pencil in a silent room,” or “puffs of smoke rising from a mountaintop.” It describes the changes in a single environmental factor as “interruptions.” It is the interruptions that give meaning to the event that is being interrupted. It is a series of interrupted events that creates a language. 

Signals is the name of the late Mexican artist Helen Escobedo’s sculpture installed at the Fred Ambler Lookout. In 1971, Escobedo was one of four international sculptors flown to Aotearoa to participate in an international symposium commemorating Auckland City’s centennial. In an interview for a National Film Unit production about the four sculptors, Escobedo said when she visited the lookout for the first time she “realised it was such a beautiful sight, there was no point in interfering with it — I had to, rather, enhance it. In other words, one had to see through this thing.”(1) Escobedo worked with steel beams and aluminum tubes fabricated in Aotearoa to create the four forms that look like cross-sections of scaffolding.

When Signals was first installed it may have appeared as interruptions or interventions on the periphery of the city. Each form defines the world that surrounds it. The nature that fills the garden, once a neutral backdrop to the lives of those who passed through it, becomes active and material, no longer “pristine and external to modern urban life.”(2) Together the four forms that make up Signals and the world in between create a language — the interpretation of which depends on the actions of the audience that views it. 

Over time language can be lost. After half a century the sculpture has become so integrated into its surrounding environment, like the nature it was intended to reactivate, we may have learned to unsee it. Deeply immersed in our routines, the runner runs, the walker walks. Onwards and onwards. Repeat and repeat. Only a lone seagull understands. It perches on one of the rungs of the sculpture for a brief, contemplative break.

As the Southern Line train leaves Parnell and enters the tunnel, just down the hill from the sculpture my signal drops out. However, a signal lost will return again, it’s just a matter of time.

By Eloise Callister-Baker

1. https://www.nzonscreen.com/title/four-shapes-for-four-spaces-1972 

2. https://pdfs.semanticscholar.org/483e/f11f9a99f4302bede1cb03191977f899c032.pdf

Miranda Bellamy & Amanda Fauteux – A Wardian Case

Miranda Bellamy & Amanda Fauteux
A Wardian Case
12 May – 5 June 2021

A Wardian Case introduces the flora of Kawau Island, home to Sir George Grey from 1862 to 1888. Grey’s shadow remains through the exotic plants and animals he introduced in pursuit of imperial prestige and prosperity. In quiet collaboration with the plants that endure, plant cell signals are sonified in chorus and cacophony. In hearing them, Kawau Island’s botanical transformation is traced and Grey’s legacy is unsettled.

A Wardian Case is accompanied by a text by Bruce E. Phillips which will be available online and in the gallery.

This work is made possible through the generous support of Creative New Zealand and The New Brunswick Arts Board.

Miranda Bellamy and Amanda Fauteux are partners and artistic collaborators who extend the stories of wild plants through site-specific research and experimentation. Working through ideas of reciprocity, animacy, and the personhood of non-humans is central to their practice. By listening to plants and responding through interdisciplinary projects, they queer the constructs that separate human beings from non-human beings and make space for the critical revision of human histories.

Bellamy holds a BFA from the Dunedin School of Art and Fauteux holds an MFA from Concordia University in Montréal. Since their collaborative practice began in 2019 they have attended artist residencies in New York and Vermont, USA, and have exhibited their work in Aotearoa, Canada, and the USA. In June 2020 they were digital artists-in-residence with Artspace Aotearoa. They live in Ōtepoti.

Deborah Rundle – No More the Fruit

12 May – 5 June 2021
Deborah Rundle
No More the Fruit

“Only those who have reflected on their condition will be capable of changing it”
The Right to Be Lazy, Paul Lafargue,1883

In the late 19th century, Marxist revolutionary Paul Lafargue, noted with disdain that the language of desire and leisure had begun to be used to promote labour. Instead, Lafargue advocated the three-hour working day and contemplative leisure, because “only those who have reflected on their condition will be capable of changing it.”

Today’s subjects find little time to plot, let alone organise extraction from the demands of late capitalism whilst living under the burden of a stifling work ethic, expanding workloads and precarity. This exhibition looks back as it thinks forward; wondering on new possibilities for the future. With techno-capitalism on the rise, it speculates beyond automation anxiety – a dominant worry since the advent of the production line. Could a collective political project be the coupling of a work less (rather than a workless) society with the potentially freeing benefits of AI and robotics? A new productive and creative agency, that stretches beyond the logic and limits of extractive capitalism might emerge through contemplative leisure and social organisation, signalling real change in the material world.

Happy Hour

‘Happy Hour’ from 5 to 7 pm this Thursday 3rd June 2021.
The exhibition, No More the Fruit by Deborah Rundle closes on Saturday so please come along for one of the last chances to see the show. Affectionately known as Happy Hour, this mood shifting ritual marks the transition between work and home. Poised on the verge of irrelevance in the shifting terrain of work, it is ripe for a makeover. Definitely more open studio then artist talk, please join Deborah for refreshments.

Jade Townsend – Panic Buy

14 April- 8th May
Jade Townsend
Panic Buy

Panic Buy continues Townsend’s examination into waste and the cast away as a method for uncovering economic disparities through consumer patterns. Made with packaging from Townsend’s own consumables during the COVID-19Level 4 Lockdown: cracker and toothpaste boxes are united to form placards. The works are double-faceted one face presents painterly and hand embellished interventions, the other reveals an assemblage of materials.

In the photographic evidence of protest, hikoi, reclamation and occupation in Aotearoa, we can see protestors holding handmade signs and protective guards. The materials these placards are made with reveal much about what is available (or not) to those communities that are taking a stand. The constructed signs also demonstrate the makers’ resourcefulness borne from the urgency to signal pathways forward in The Cause.

Our people can’t afford to panic.
Our people can’t afford to panic buy.

Panic Buy references a specific government and grocery outlet message exasperated across the media during the first rāhui. Please, do not panic buy as there are families who live week-to-week.

Sandy Gibbs – The paradox of failure: sport, competition and contemporary art

14 April- 8th May
Sandy Gibbs
The paradox of failure: sport, competition and contemporary art

I seem to have spent large chunks of my life in swimming pools and changing rooms. Together with the pungent odour of chlorine, it’s a reminder of my 1960’s childhood dream of being an Olympic swimmer – along with my adolescent hero-worship of Tui Shipston who, as a 17-year-old schoolgirl from Christchurch, represented New Zealand at the 1968 Mexico Olympic Games. Idealistically, I believed in the hard-working, democratic rightness of Tui Shipston to win a gold medal – and, more importantly, as a scene-setter for my own future and indisputable swimming glory.

But I was destined for disappointment – she didn’t win.

Of the four events that Shipston competed in at the 1968 Mexico Olympics, she qualified in the finals for only one: the women’s 400 metres individual medley. My hopes were high, and I remember waiting eagerly for the results, only to discover that she came seventh. Seventh… my eyes glazed over in disbelief. Marked by Shipston’s failure to win a medal, it was as if my own failure had also been acted out in that swimming pool in Mexico City. Olympic success was not to be mine. Bloody-mindedly resistant to acknowledging Shipston as the seventh fastest in the world – in itself an act of herculean proportions – I’m ashamed to admit that my hero-worship crumbled and fell away as my own medal-winning fantasy collapsed.

Years later, I resolved to offer Tui Shipston the chance to swim that race again – and maybe win this time.

This was the starting point of this project: an optimistic proposal to restage the original swimming event in the same Olympic swimming pool in Mexico City, the Alberca Olímpica Francisco Márquez, and with the same eight competitors – all now in their 60s.

I rang Tui – but she said no!

This moment dramatically shifted the project from being about failure to being a project that was itself constituted by failures — and in doing so forced a paradigmatic shift in both the framing of the project and its methodology. Contingencies, happenstance and precarious optimism opened up possibilities, and I seized upon opportunities to expand upon restaging as an overarching methodology by obsessively enacting the central character and using my own ageing body along with the language of sport, performance and humour in different ways and modalities as a tool of investigation with which to produce a body of video artwork.

As such, each of the video works is a restaged ‘micro-event’ made in response to the unfolding research journey as I doggedly and somewhat obsessively attempted to track down all of the original competitors – all the while, operating within the contingencies of an ongoing durational project moving towards restaging the final swimming race in Mexico City.

Yukari Kaihori – In Searching of Deities

17 March – 10 April

Yukari Kaihori

In Searching of Deities

The non-human agent, object and our immediate environment.

The past year was eventful. In addition to Covid-19, there were many political incidents and new radical social movements all over the world. It has been overwhelming and has made us wonder whether the world has gone crazy. However, when exposed to things that can overwhelm me, I like to remind myself that I need to connect to the reality of “here and now” and not to live in my ‘headspace’ too much. If everyone were to do this then eventually each of us could realise that the reality around us is not overwhelming or in conflict with ourselves. 

How we see things depends on what and how we believe. For my project In Searching for Deities, I examine different belief systems in opposition to Kantian theories that question the human-centric view of the world. This includes Object-Oriented Ontology (OOO), the ideas of Timothy Morton and Tetsurō Watsuji, and animistic beliefs like Shintoism. In doing so, I am also seeking ways to de-link from the progressive line of modernity as discussed by Walter Mignolo, the founder of the modernity/ coloniality school of thought. Following his position, I try not to participate in a hierarchical culture structure, but instead attempt to give back the power to the objects and spaces.  

Both Timothy Morton, a philosopher who works in the field of ecological studies, and Walter Mignolo, the scholar developed the argument that modernity and coloniality come together like light and shadow. As part of this comes how the meaning of the word “genius” was changed during the Romanticism movement of the 18th Century. Originally, ‘genius’ related to the spirits or deities residing in specific places. Before the 18th Century, saying ‘she has genius’ would have meant that the artist was positively influenced by the spirits. The spirit could inspire, protect and empower a person. In this sense the idea of ‘genius’ was similar to indigenous and animistic cultural values; the power belongs to places and without spirit man did not have the power to create. Colonization and modernization changed the meaning of ‘genius’. We now say ‘she is a genius’ as if she owns and possesses the power. In this project, I intend to use artworks that draw influence from the immediate environment: the exhibition space of RM gallery that comes with local deities and is attached to the community. The intention is to bring awareness to the “here and now”- the actual place we install works and with which we interact. 

Thought is given to considering objects and spaces as possessing spirits or being deities, which may motivate us to care more for our immediate environment. We may need to be aware of our immediate space, to be living ‘now’, and to be ecological. My recent studio practice is a site-specific project concerning the ‘here and now’ of the present time and space. By paying attention to a unique object or the space that one inhabits, the individual becomes more connected to the ‘now’. This installation aims to enhance and intensify the quality and characteristics of the existing space, including residues of artworks left from artists exhibited at RM. 

Sena Park – Aliveness_Symbiosis_on K-rd

Sena Park
Aliveness_Symbiosis_on K-rd
17th February – 13th March

We walk into human-made spider webs. The spider webs are exaggerated and modified from its natural size and form. We mingle with it. We can walk, rest, chat and eat freely around it ignoring its existence.

Humans are members of the ecological community on our planet, as are any other living organism. Unconsciously or consciously and intentionally or unintentionally, we break the balance and disturb our ecological system causing a global issue. Our complex society and relationships have balance and tension like the form of the spider web. My ongoing installation project Aliveness_Symbiosis represents that we live in our place without noticing that we are sharing our nature and living together with numerous cohabitants.

RM Gallery and Project Space
Thursday and Friday 1pm - 5pm
Saturday 12pm - 4pm

Samoa House Lane
Auckland Central 1010

We are located in the centre of Auckland, close to Karangahape Road. We are on Samoa House Lane, just off of Beresford Street -- look out for the incredible fale of Samoa House and you're nearly there.
We are  2 minutes walk from Artspace, Ivan Anthony and Michael Lett.

Safe Space Alliance

RM is a member of Safe Space Alliance

A safe space is a space where the LGBTQI+ community can freely express themselves without fear. It is a space that does not tolerate violence, bullying, or hate speech towards the LGBTQI+ community.

A safe space does not guarantee 100% safety, rather, it’s a space that has your back if an incident (violence, bullying, or hate speech) were to occur.

Click here to find out more about Safe Space Alliance

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Help us identify what is in our Archive! We have digitised many slides in our archive and invite participation to identify them. Please click here to access the collection.

Our Boxed Archive
Since 2009 RM has been building an archive of material related to our exhibition and event programme. An index to the collection is available here.

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