Art New Zealand

Art New Zealand No 153 Autumn 2015

New Zealand’s most respected and widely-read visual arts magazine, Art New Zealand presents an independent quarterly round-up of the visual arts in New Zealand, by the country’s best art writers.

New Zealand
Art New Zealand 2009 Ltd



Auckland Fiona Amundsen, Peter Robinson, Luke Willis Thompson Pequod Hopkinson Mossman 21 November–20 December EDWARD HANFLING Hopkinson Mossman have done a number of exhibitions like this-just three artists. It is a good idea; more variety than in a solo show, but a clearer focus than the typical ‘all the artists we represent’ group show. Works by Luke Willis Thompson (in and next to the office), Peter Robinson (in one corner of the big space) and Fiona Amundsen (on the far wall) are presented as separate entities, without curatorial conceits. But there are subtle connections if you want to make them. Taken whole, the exhibition feels pleasant, relaxed, precise but open, and when I think more about what connects the works I get ideas about stillness, memory and spirituality. All three artists present resolutely inanimate…

kanohi ki te kanohi (face to face)

The work of Lisa Reihana (Nga Puhi, Ngati Hine, Ngai Tu) astutely weaves visual forms of cultural representation from historical and contemporary sources, nuanced from an urban background. Her work spans territories of film, animation, video, sound, documentary-making, photography, textile, architectural space and live action. Reihana remains an active and singular influence within the trajectories of time-based practice in Aotearoa New Zealand. In recent months she has earned an Arts Foundation Laureate Award, been short-listed for the Signature Art Prize in Singapore, and premieres two major new video projects, in Pursuit of Venus [infected] (2012-14), a vast, multi-screen panoramic work, and the single channel Tai Whetuki-House of Death (2015). Over the summer, Lisa spoke with Rhana Devenport about her practice. Rhana Devenport: A continuous urge within your practice is your interest in…

the coatesville debacle

. . . we are likely approaching a sociotechnological ‘event horizon’ of sorts-a point beyond which the origins of intellectual property law become so remote and obscure that there will be little purpose in debating its enforcement or amending its architecture. To put it plainly, we are on the verge of an era in which the concept of ‘copying’ has no meaning and therefore in which ‘copyright’ exists only as an instrument of political hegemony. Aram Sinnreich It’s over three years since the US Federal Prosecutor’s office issued a warrant for the arrest of Kim Dotcom, a German national and New Zealand resident of Coatesville, Auckland, in the constituency of the country’s Prime Minister, John Key, and a highly successful internet entrepreneur. What were the charges? Operating a worldwide criminal organization engaged…

outdoor pursuits

Art fairtigue is an international phenomenon that New Zealanders will never be forced to confront, at home at least. It is the exhaustion that ensues as you zip from one important global art fair to another, watching your air miles and waistline accrue at a rate exponentially faster than any hoped-for cultural capital. Every two years, a local version of this phenomenon is possible, if you replace art fairs with outdoor sculpture shows. This summer, NZ Sculpture OnShore took place at Fort Takapuna in November, and headland Sculpture on the Gulf colonised the cliff top walk which finishes up at Matiatia Wharf on Waiheke Island. Even better, these two biennial attractions are accessible by public transport-see art and leave no carbon footprint!-and your waistline might theoretically shrink; to experience both of…

materiality & metaphysics

It took almost two decades for this exhibition to happen. Milan Mrkusich painted the Chromatic Investigations in 1995 and 1996, not as a series of discrete paintings that could be hung together or apart, or in any space, but with the intention that they be united with a specific architecture to form an installation. Until curator Alice Hutchison had the gumption to have the requisite curved wall built within the high-studded Aratoi gallery in Masterton, no public gallery in the country would show the work. No images of the paintings were previously available in published form, because the work itself did not yet truly exist. I have seen it now, and it is with great pleasure that I recall the experience in writing this article. The artist Patrick Lundberg once…


Since winning the inaugural Walters’ Prize in 2002 Yvonne Todd has had something of a meteoric rise in the art world. This summer, Wellington’s City Gallery has devoted for the first time its entire seven galleries to a single exhibition, a survey of her work, curated by their senior curator Robert Leonard. Just as the Walters Prize had its critics a dozen years ago, many remain unconvinced about Todd’s work-seeing it, pejoratively, as entirely contrived-and regarding her high profile as one equally contrived by the usual posse of curators, dealers and art writers, all in cahoots to promote their latest darling. It can happen. (Admittedly, more lemming psychology than rocket science.) But, at the very least, Creamy Psychology offers the opportunity to reconsider such judgements, and provides a timely platform…