28 December 2008

Part tragedy, part comedy, part prophecy?

Damien Hirst trips over a diamond the size of his head and dies. 
Edition by Piek artgroup

18 December 2008

Gimme shelter

I had a lengthy debate with a prominent curator once about the similarities between public art galleries and sheltered workshops. From distant memory it went something along the lines of:

Galleries operate, by and large, beyond the realm of public opinion, producing occasionally irrelevant outcomes in an often unconventional and irrational manner, and are often misunderstood by their communities.

Sheltered workshops, on the other hand, operate beyond the realm of public opinion, producing occasionally irrelevant products in an often unconventional and irrational manner, and are often misunderstood by their communities.

I also recently discovered that the support programme for disabled people integrating in the community is Intellectual Disability Empowerment in Action (IDEA), galleries trade in the currency of ideas... You get the picture.

It's nice to see this idea taking off in a work in the Govett-Brewster Art Gallery's summer show Break: Towards a Public Realm.

Louise Menzies (b 1982, lives and works in Auckland) collaborates with Kate Newby (b 1979, lives and works in Auckland) to recreate in the front display space of the Govett-Brewster the front display space of the nearby Expressions IDEA daybase in the work Thinking/willing.

The switch isn't immediately obvious. With the way a lot of recent art borrows heavily from the burgeoning craft movement, you could be easily forgiven for thinking you were looking at 'leading contemporary art', which I guess is the point.

The lack of any signage or wall label doesn't exactly aid the digestion of the idea (though does the IDEA) and nor does the exhibition room brochure. I wonder if the current economic recession is behind the brochure's 5-point font and single-sided print.

Either that or the Gallery has something to hide...

Break: Towards a public realm. Govett-Brewster Art Gallery until 1 February 2009.

Sub brand.

15 December 2008

Back in the dim dark days before the interconnected series of tubes fed all sorts of random crap into the back of our computers, The Future always seemed so much more distant and, well, seductive.
In a joyous moment of random web trawlage recently I rediscovered The Usborne Book of the Future - A Journey to the Year 2000 and beyond. To say this was the formative book of my youth would be a massive understatement, and it's alarming to note just how far we have come, and how far we haven't, since the book came out in 1979.
But this wee journey into nostalgia doesn't end there. The Singing Blackbird has unearthed the remarkable (or remarkably bad) Street Hawk, to which I raise the stakes in crap 80s 'the future is now' television shows with Automan. Behold the future, as it was elaborately imagined in post-Tron 1983. Crazy times...
Fun Fact #2976: The first (of all 9) episode of Automan screened exactly 25 years ago today.

11 December 2008

Christmas wish list #1

Running shoes that transform into er, Transformers.

Quite possibly the coolest thing in the world right now, and causing me to wonder a) what else could benefit from being transformed into a transformer, and b) whether running might be cooler than I thought.

Nicely done designboom

05 December 2008

Celebrity Endorsement

Anyone I've discussed the global credit situation with in recent months will have heard my theory that the root of all problems are flat screen televisions - that seemingly innocuous item that has invaded lounges and emptied pay packets for up to 36 months, lured people into hapless Jonesism as their neighbours upsize to 42", shipped a large chunk of the Kiwi economy straight offshore, yet still not really driven those producing the actual Television contents to up their game (TVNZ 6 and 7 aside, but I can't get those, so will overlook).

My theory is catching on - this morning it was loosely endorsed by Russel Brown on Public Address, who pondered:

"I wonder if this will be remembered as the crisis of the flat-screen TV, the somewhat affordable luxury still expected to ship nearly a hundred million units worldwide in 2009, thanks largely to intense price-cutting from manufacturers. We will rationalise our purchases as we scoff our unseasonably cheap vine-ripened tomatoes."

02 December 2008

Autograph hound

On this, the day that Andre Rieu releases Waltzing Matilda (New Zealand Special Edition), I thought it fitting to post a recent find in a Wellington bookshop - an autographed copy of comma dot dogma, the work of the late Tom Kreisler.

Tune in next week when Onemomentcaller reviews the Constitution of the United States of America (New Zealand Special Edition) and gets his chest autographed by Colin McCahon.