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  • Writer's pictureSuzy Costello, workbooks

Exhibition Week 3, 3-7 Aug, 2020

Visit to Adam Art Gallery and Dowse Art Museum, team meeting and proposal development, location sourcing.

1. TE PATAKA POI - ADAM ART GALLERY Exhibitions currently on display are Letters and Documents by Dane Mitchell, 92 Letters by Ken Friedman, Head[case] by Julia Morison, and Violent Legalities by Fraser Crichton, Mariachiara Ficarelli, Lachlan Kermode, Bhaveeka Madagammana, Davide Mangano, Karamia Müller.

Ideas discussed by Christina Barton, Director and Stephen Cleland, Curator-

  1. Know the space intimately spatial, spine of building is the stairs, permeable to light and the outside, 4 stories each with a different atmosphere, building's history, wedged between other buildings but designed especially for the gallery with unique room dimensions (height, width and length) that challenge artists to use space

  2. Conceptual development very important begin with this e.g. this exhibition is about documents and archiving

  3. Consider how the artworks interact with each other

  4. Text almost none so viewers can encounter the work. Use an exhibition map. Historical exhibitions need more text on walls for reference. Team design, Match font to exhibition

  5. Hanging involvement of artists in hanging varies, team effort, takes time to see things in situ, shouldn't require major adjustments at this point

  6. Developing an "Adam" curatorial look

Reflections -

  • loved the space, the way the light changed and responded to what was going on outside, the crazy dimensions of space and angles of walls and ceilings, and the feeling of being wedged and closely connected to buildings outside of the inner space, the honest materiality of the building

  • enjoyed the experience of navigating the building levels, climbing down into darkness and returning up to the light

  • thoughtful collection of exhibitions around archiving and documenting the artmaking practice and lots of complex ideas to dissect e.g. Mitchell's work - when does someone's discarded property become an artwork and the artist's property? Friedman - how can documenting an art practice become some else's art work? Morison - can art making and its resultant work be its own documentation process?

  • Violent legalities was the most challenging exhibition as it questions the boundaries of art by colliding/interfacing with science, communication and social justice within a very personal and current NZ history. The factual-ness of it (using forensic analysis and digital interactive displays) meant there was no escaping or misinterpreting the meaning of the work. Is this lack of ambiguity a comfortable position for art?


Exhibitions currently on display are The Group Flying No Standard, A Mua New Lineages of Making and Fiona Amundsen & Tim Corballis Human Hand.

I love The Dowse - exhibitions that feed the soul of the Hutt Valley community, challenge and provoke and connect its people, their mastery of curating exhibitions in a manner that amplifies the conceptual theme, their use of colour, lighting and space. They have an extensive collection of arts and craft artwork important in New Zealand's history and the building has recently been renovated. Their plinths always surprise me too.

3. TEAM MEETING AND PROPOSAL We held a Zoom meeting during the week to discuss the proposal and prepare for the slideshow presentation scheduled for next week. Victoria led the meeting and has developed a Google collaborative slide presentation that we can all add to as required. I am a luddard and seem unable to add images.

We have agreed on a title after a great discussion around perception and perspective with everyone contributing in a light hearted manner. Budget, roles and refining the idea of location have been discussed. There are a number of locations so once we have the proposal complete we will then focus on this aspect. It is exciting to consider the number of galleries that are making space available to Massey student exhibitions, This provides an opportunity to connect with galleries in the future. There is lots of empty building spaces in inner city Wellington so I think we will be okay.


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