Public Programme: The Commons Project / Points of Contact: Jim Allen, Len Lye, Hélio Oiticica

Contact Performance
Part one, Computer Dance Saturday 5 March 2011, 6pm
Part two, Parangole Capes Saturday 12 March 2011, 6pm
Part three, Body Articulation/Imprint Saturday 19 March 2011, 6pm
Main lecture theatre, Architecture School of Art and Design, 139 Vivian Street, Te Aro, Wellington.

In 1974 Jim Allen presented the performance Contact at the Auckland City Art Gallery. Famed for its dramatic focus on live action rather than the static object, Contact is acknowledged as a pivotal work in the development of post-object art in New Zealand. The work elaborates a release from social alienation through collective activity whereby performers move within a structured framework, shifting from tentative interaction to cooperation to possible transcendence. Re-performed at ARTSPACE in Auckland as part of the Auckland Festival over three weekends in March 2011, Contact was simultaneously re-presented as a ‘live feed’ in Wellington via the capabilities of the internet.

Jim Allen and David Cross
Two Artists: Two Educators
Adam Art Gallery
Thursday 7 April 2011, 5.30-7pm

Artists and educators Jim Allen and David Cross teased out the connections between pedagogical processes and art making, and considered how the educational environment has influenced their artistic practices particularly in light of the networks of influence and ‘points of contact’ it necessitates and enables.

Paul Elliman
Designer/Typographical Developer
Adam Art Gallery
Tuesday 12 April 2011, 6pm

Paul Elliman is an artist and designer based in London. He is renowned for his typeface Found Font (aka Bits), an ongoing collection of found ‘typography’ drawn from objects and industrial debris in which no letter-form is repeated. More recently he has been combining an interest in typography and the human voice. This body of work instrumentalises the human voice as a form of typography, engaging the voice in its various social and technological guises.
Elliman’s work has been included in exhibitions at the Tate Modern, London; New Museum for Contemporary Art, New York; APAP in Anyang, South Korea, and Kunsthalle Basel, Germany. In 2009 he was commissioned for the New York biennial Performa09 to produce Sirens Taken for Wonders, a project which took the form of a radio discussion about the coded language of emergency vehicle sirens through the city. Elliman is a visiting critic at Yale University School of Art, New Haven, and a thesis supervisor at the Werkplaats Typografie in Arnhem, Netherlands. He visited New Zealand through the Artist-in-Residence programme at the Elam School of Fine Arts, University of Auckland. 

In Our Name: The Commons Project
Annea Lockwood
(New York)
Peter McLeavey Gallery, 147 Cuba Street
Wednesday 27 April 2011, 11am-5pm

Although Annea Lockwood was born in New Zealand, she is better-known internationally for her performative explorations into the rich world of natural acoustic sounds and environments. The Adam Art Gallery, in facilitating her return visit to New Zealand,  invited her to present an installation at the Peter McLeavey Gallery, Wellington. Entitled The Sound Map of the Housatonic River the installation articulates her fascination with the multi-layered complexity of sounds created by fast flowing rivers. Presenting an alternative sonic map this work traces the course of the Housatonic River, from the sources in the Berkshire Mountains to the river’s mouth at Milford, Long Island Sound. The piece follows the river by recording both the surface and underwater sites of the riverbed, in turn alluding to the inevitable changes that are occurring to the natural environment.

Lockwood’s sound installation is part of the In Our Name: The Commons Project, a series of performances which sought to establish an experience of ‘common ground’ within the fabric of Wellington city. Through a belief in art’s potential, particularly the pervasive and popular medium of sound, the project aims to occupy public architectural sites and enable new community formations.

Annea Lockwood was born in Christchurch, New Zealand in 1939 and moved to England in 1961 to study composition at the Royal College of Music, London. She attended summer classes at Darmstadt, The Netherlands and completed her studies in electronic music with Gottfried Michael Koenig. During the 1960s she collaborated with sound poets, choreographers and visual artists, and also created a number of works such as the Glass Concerts which initiated her lifelong fascination with timbre and new sound sources. During the 1970s and 1980s she turned her attention to performance works focused on environmental sounds and narratives, often using low-tech devices. Since the early 1990s, she has written for a number of ensembles and solo performers, often incorporating electronics and visual elements. More recent exhibitions at public galleries, museums and festivals include: Museum of Contemporary Art, Barcelona; Sonic Acts XIII, Amsterdam; Other Minds Festival, San Francisco; Walker Art Center, Los Angeles; Donaufest, Ulm, Germany;  Donau Festival Krems, Austria;  Totally Huge New Music Festival and Ruined Piano Convergence, Perth, and the Ear To The Earth Festival, New York.

We acknowledge the generous support of  the New Zealand School of Music and Wellington City Council through its Cultural Grant Funding Programme towards the realisation of this project.

Paulo Venancio Filho
Hélio Oiticica’s Time and Place
Adam Art Gallery
Thursday 19 May 2011, 6pm

Brazilian art historian, curator and writer Paulo Venancio Filho presented his research on the artist Hélio Oiticica, whose work was part of the exhibition Points of Contact: Jim Allen, Len Lye and Hélio Oiticica (organised and toured by the Govett-Brewster Art Gallery) at the Adam Art Gallery. His lecture summarised Oiticica’s role in the Brazilian artistic context of the late 1950s and 1960s, which saw him synthesising the legacy of modernism with pioneering avant-garde experiment, which he expanded in his brief stay in London that led to the breakthrough exhibition at the Whitechapel Art Gallery in 1969 and the late projects and experiments made in his 1970-1978 period in New York.

Paulo Venancio Filho
Professor of Art History, Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
New Time, New Temporality: Contemporary Art in Brazil
Room 319, Old Kirk Building, Gate 3, Kelburn Parade, Victoria University of Wellington
Friday 20 May 2011, 3-5pm

Brazilian contemporary art is receiving greater attention than ever on the international stage. Are the creative endeavours coming out of Brazil hitting a chord with contemporary issues? Or is it that Brazil is a new terrain to be claimed? What is Brazilian art’s position in mapping out contemporary art of the early 21st century? How are younger artists working in Brazil engaging with global processes of the art circuit yet also acknowledging that their work is shaped by local conditions and histories? Brazilian art historian, curator and writer Paulo Venancio Filho convened a two hour workshop on the current art scene in Brazil and its propositions for international discourse on contemporary art.
Presented by the Art History Programme, School of Art History, Classics and Religious Studies, and the Adam Art Gallery, Victoria University of Wellington.

Paulo Venancio Filho
is an art critic, curator and full professor of art history at the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro. He is the author of essays published in the following catalogues: Tunga/Cildo Meireles, Kanaal Art Foundation, Belgium; Transcontinental: Nine Latin American Artists, New York and London; Inside the Invisible, The Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston; Experiment/Experiência – Art in Brazil 1958-2000, Museum of Modern Art, Oxford; Oiticica in London, Tate Modern, London. He curated Rio de Janeiro 1950-1964 for Century City, Tate Modern, London 2001 and Soto: The Construction of Immateriality, Centro Banco do Brasil, Rio de Janeiro 2005.

Paulo Venancio Filho’s visit to New Zealand was supported by the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro; Adam Art Gallery, Victoria University of Wellington; the National Institute of Arts and Industry, University of Auckland, and the Govett-Brewster Art Gallery, New Plymouth.