Staying with our friend theatre designer John Parker we came across a file box full of tiny furniture. Dozens of small chairs, tables, lamps, beds, benches and couches all made to inhabit the set models John designs. In the spirit of art-is-where-you-find-it we've put a selection of the best (ok, cutest) ones up here on their own tinyfurniture Weebly website. And because we stole the title from Lena Dunham's movie, here's a link to that too, well the trailer anyway.
The photography/no photography thing has jumped the shark with the Auckland Art Gallery banning it from their Light Show. If ever an exhibition could do with some buzz via photography this is the one. What is it about the connection between light and the camera the AAG doesn't understand? Maybe it's because Light Show is such a Po-Liteshow that they don’t want too many images out there to alert the punters. Most of the works fall into one of three camps; reflected colour on the walls, reflected lights via mirrors or sparkling things. There’s certainly nothing that’s going to flare out, give you a sunburn or surprise you or the kids. "Extrasensory"? not so much. Some imaginative pics from out of the hive mind could do nothing but good. They could make the show look more lively and give an entertaining reason to visit.
It's a weird omission. When it suits them our museums are all too keen to invite us to post images of their exhibitions onto Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest. When it doesn’t the shutters come down. Now there’s a third even more irritating variant of the photography rules, the you-can-photograph-this-one-but-not-that-one sign. It's time to get over this. Anyone who photographs the work and tries to make commercial gain out of it, go after them by all means (if in fact this ever happens) otherwise, chillax.
Images: Pics of Light Show. In the spirit of things we only photographed the walls.
"We'll be moving away from the passive physical engagement of the past and looking to technology innovation here out of New Zealand, as well as what others are doing and learn from that and hopefully bring something quite magic alive."
The new CE of Te Papa Rick Ellis starts work today.
"The board and chairman, Evan Williams, have reassured me that the issues that have been widely publicised over the past 18 months or so have been addressed and the organisation is actually in great shape for a new leader like me to come in and take it forward," Mr Ellis said. Te Papa CE Rick Ellis interviewed by TV1 on 10 November 2014
“The Te Papa Board is faced with considerable challenges over the near term, as it reconciles a necessary period of fiscal consolidation with the need for significant capital investment in the museum infrastructure, and a desire to share more of the national heritage and scientific collections with the nation. These challenges are accentuated in the short term, as the museum goes through a period of capability rebuilding following its recent organisational realignment.” Briefing to the incoming Minister for Arts, Culture and Heritage October 2014
Editor: Is that piece on the changing role of curators in the digital world ready for Saturday? Features editor: No Editor: Not to worry we’ll put up this Homer Simpson nail art tutorial video. And they did
Is Jim Allen the oldest performance artist still standing? He’s definitely the oldest standing operating a chainsaw and with Marina Abramovic at 66, Vito Acconti 74, Gina Paine and Carolee Schneemann just a year older and even Yayoi Kusama a youthful 85, we reckon the honours most definitely go to Allen at 92. On Wednesday night about 50 people watched him recreate the performance On planting a native from 1976 that involved cutting down a small tree and representing it on the gallery wall. In the audience was art writer and critic Wystan Curnow who has been a strong supporter of Allen and the other performance artists of the seventies. It was quite something to see Curnow transfixed by the performance as though it were the first time he had seen Jim Allen at work. He even edged closer mid-performance to take more pictures. Turns out that Curnow is also that other essential glue to the art world, a fan. Image: Wystan Curnow photographs Jim Allen at Michael Lett
"The art world is an old boys’ club. People tend to promote people who are like themselves. The barriers to financial success persist for women artists as well. Even for the women who have broken records at auction, their prices are still only one-third the value of the top male artists at auction—on a good day." Barbara Lee, a Boston based philanthropist who only collects art by female artists
There has probably never been a wackier representation of art in the movies than the 1955 vehicle for Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis Artists and their models. It was the last Lewis Martin team-up and revolves around the struggles of painter Rick Todd who has to do billboard work to keep afloat. In a parallel universe the real James Rosenquist was also a billboard painter learning the techniques that he would put into his famous Pop paintings of the early sixties. For Martin and Lewis the billboard paint job inevitably ends in spilling big tubs of the stuff on the client and a passing cop. Still, this rather sorry mess of a movie ends with a big production number on a giant palette, so not all bad. In fact the movie was presented as a satire on the paranoid delusions of the McCarthy hearings via the censorship and control of comics (Lewis is a comic nut in the movie). You can see the billboard sequence here.
Images: top to bottom left to right, Dean Martin ‘paints’ lips high above the street and James Rosenquist in action above Times Square c.1957, whoops, the palette as art signifier, again, and the small poster for the movie with obligatory palette.
To anyone (that’s anyone living below the Bombay Hills) who doesn’t believe that Auckland is now the Cultural Capital of NZ, here’s some numbers based on the Walters Prize and the Venice Biennale. And they are kind of compelling. Compelling that is if you believe that representation by a dealer gallery is one possible measure of an artist's standing. Anyway, of the 25 artists who have been finalists in the seven Walters Prizes, all are represented in Auckland and just seven in Wellington. Then in the last two Prizes non of the eight finalists are represented in Wellington at all. Of the nine artists who have carried the NZ flag at the Venice Biennale, only three are represented in Wellington. Over both of our major art events then less than 30 percent of the exhibitors are represented by a Wellington dealer. As to the South Island, someone down there can do that sorry sum..
And for the record, the lists:
NZ’s representation at the Venice Biennale: 2001 Jacqueline Fraser and Peter Robinson 2003 Michael Stevenson 2005 et al. 2009 Francis Upritchard and Judy Millar 2011 Michael Parekowhai 2013 Bill Culbert 2015 Simon Denny
Walters Prize: 2002 Yvonne Todd Gavin Hipkins John Reynolds Mike Stevenson
2004 et al. Jacqueline Fraser Ronnie van Hout Daniel von Sturmer
2006 Francis Upritchard Stella Brennan Phil Dadson Peter Robinson
2008 Peter Robinson Edith Amituanai Lisa Reihana John Reynolds
2010 Dan Arps Fiona Connor Saskia Leek Alex Monteith
2012 Kate Newby Simon Denny Alicia Frankovich Sriwhana Spong
2014 Luke Willis Thompson Simon Denny Maddie Leach Kalisolaite Uhila
LATER: Initially we thought it was the Len Lye Trust proposing this wacky idea. But reading the article again, who exactly is going to do this thing is a bit of a mystery. We are assuming the Len Lye Trust is in there somewhere, the City Council probably, maybe the Govett-Brewster - all jumping the shark together?
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