Kim Pieters / Reload
27 May – 21 September 2014
what is a life?
An exhibition by Kim Pieters
what is a life? brings together paintings, drawings, photographs, and moving-image soundscapes by artist Kim Pieters (born 1959, New Zealand). Surveying her output since 2007, it focuses on the range of works she has been producing in and from her inner harbour studio in central Dunedin.
To ask the question ‘what is a life?’ is to test the deepest purposes of being an artist. For Pieters, this is a necessary interrogation that informs her engagement with material reality. Informed by her readings in philosophy, poetry, literature, and history she explores the space between her life world and the conscious processes that grant meaning to the facts of living. Her resulting art works are improvisatory and open-ended. They require responses that are together mental, perceptual, and sensuous, and posit answers to the ‘big’ question that sit alongside empirical, metaphysical, or logical ways of knowing.
Since 1993, Kim Pieters has lived and worked in Dunedin, where she is an integral figure in the art and experimental music scenes. For more than two decades, her paintings and drawings have been included in exhibitions throughout New Zealand and, through the 1990s, she was known for her bass playing and vocals in underground ensembles such as Dadamah, Rain, Flies inside the Sun, Pieters/Russell/Stapleton, DoraMaar and Sleep. In performance, these often featured Pieters’ moving-image projections. With musician, writer and curator, Peter Stapleton, she founded the Metonymic music label and, in 2000, began the Dunedin experimental music festival ‘Lines of Flight’.
This exhibition is the first to bring together the full range of Pieters’ practice and her first survey in a public institution.
The exhibition will be launched at 6pm on Tuesday 27 May with a unique performance by Eye, a trio of experimental musicians—Peter Stapleton, Peter Porteous, and Jon Chapman—all with long histories of involvement in New Zealand underground music. Their performance of improvised psychedelic drones will be accompanied by Kim Pieters’ projected film.
Join the artist for a tour of the exhibition at 12pm Wednesday 28 May.
A fully illustrated catalogue documenting this exhibition will be available from the Adam Art Gallery and good book stores in July. Designed by Matthew Galloway, it features an introduction by curator and Adam Art Gallery Director Christina Barton, an interview with the artist conducted by Hamish Clayton, and essays by Auckland-based poet Gregory Kan, and Dunedin-based broadcaster, writer and artist, Carl A. Mears.
Read Hamish Clayton’s interview with Kim Pieters here.
RELOAD Kirk Gallery Series 2014
Shannon Te Ao, Follow the Party of the Whale, 27 May – 29 June
Hito Steyerl, Is a Museum a Battlefield? 4 July – 10 August
Eddie Clemens, Collector’s Edition Glitch, 15 August – 21 September
RELOAD is a series of three installations showcasing recent digital moving-image works by Shannon Te Ao, Hito Steyerl, and Eddie Clemens. Each revisits a charged history and loaded sites (of incarceration and hard labour, war and corporate sponsorship, past disaster and futuristic conflict) by a canny re-deployment of digital media.
Shannon Te Ao (born 1978 Sydney) is a Wellington-based artist, writer and curator currently teaching at Massey University School of Art. Follow the Party of the Whale is a two-channel video projection that merges the strategies of performance art with a poignant reflection on the fate of the Māori prophet leaders Te Whiti o Rongomai and Tohu Kākahi and their followers, during their two-year incarceration in Dunedin after removal from their pacifist community at Parihaka in Taranaki in 1881.
Hito Steyerl (born 1966 Munich) is a Berlin-based documentary filmmaker and writer who uses photography and video to ‘think through’ the circulation of media. Is a Museum a Battlefield? is a performance/lecture produced for the 2013 Istanbul Biennial, which uses the aerodynamic form of an empty bullet casing as a device to link together a mass grave in Turkey, contemporary museum culture, the arms industry, and arts sponsorship.
Eddie Clemens (born 1977 Rotorua) is an Auckland-based artist known for his manipulation of objects and images to facilitate a slippage between digital and material realms. Collector’s Edition Glitch uses the Adam Art Gallery’s architecture as prop for, and feature in, a work that montages scenes and outtakes from various movies by and about James Cameron.
For events associated with the above projects, please view our Public Programme.
For details about Working the Gap, a series of free public events exploring art writing now, please read more here.