Public Programme: Play On

Dear Toss: Julian Dashper’s Big Bang Theory

Lecture Theatre 323, Hunter Building
Victoria University of Wellington
Friday 7 May 2010

Curator, writer and key player in the New Zealand art world of the 1990s, Robert Leonard will consider Julian Dashper’s The Big Bang Theory, a work he helped stage as curator at the Govett-Brewster Art Gallery.

Robert Leonard is currently Director of the Institute of Modern Art in Brisbane. His trip to New Zealand has been supported by Creative New Zealand Toi Aotearoa.

Gregory Sholette
Dark Matter: Art and Politics in the Age of Enterprise Culture

Thursday 10 June 2010
Lecture Room 323, Hunter Building
Victoria University of Wellington Kelburn Campus

Gregory Sholette’s research into politically-engaged artists’ collectives raises the following proposition: cultural economies are secretly dependent upon a sphere of hidden social production involving co-operative networks, systems of gift exchange, unwaged labor, and collective forms of practice that act as a type of missing mass or dark matter, which the art world typically refuses to acknowledge. Thanks in large part to the spread of digital networks, however, this dark matter is getting brighter. By looking at more than 30 years of contemporary artists’ collectives, Sholette’s research attempts to map this materializing missing mass politically, as part of a broader history from below.

Gregory Sholette is an artist, writer, and Assistant Professor at Queens College. His individual sculpture, drawing, media, and installation works have been exhibited at the Taiwan Art Biennial, New Langton Arts in San Francisco, Smart Museum of Art in Chicago, and the Dia Art Foundation, Anthology Film Archives, and the Museum of Modern Art. A founding member of the artist’s collectives Political Art Documentation/Distribution (PAD/D: 1980-1988), and REPOhistory (1989-2000), he is the co-editor of two books: Collectivism After Modernism: The Art of Social Imagination after 1945, with Blake Stimson, (University of Minnesota, 2007); and The Interventionists: A Users Manual for the Creative Disruption of Everyday Life, with Nato Thompson, (MASS MoCA/MIT Press, 2004, 05, 08). He has contributed critical writings to various journals including Artforum, Third Text, Oxford Art Journal, Art Journal, Journal of Aesthetics and Politics, and October, and is a frequent international lecturer on issues of art and politics. He is currently writing a book on the political economy of art for Pluto Press (UK) due to be published in 2010. Sholette is in Wellington as an artist in residence at the Enjoy Public Art Gallery

Slave Pianos Pianology: A Schema and Historio-Materialist Pro-gnostic

Presented by Victoria University of Wellington, Darren Knight Gallery, Sydney and the Remembering the 20th Century Committee.
Adam Art Gallery
Friday 18 June 2010

Slave Pianos Pianology Friday 18 June 2010 8pm

In collaboration with the students of the New Zealand School of Music at Victoria University of Wellington, the renowned collective Slave Pianos will activate the installation Slave Pianos (of the Art Cult) 1998-1999 in an entirely new and unexpected configuration. Riffing on the form of the university lecture and playing on the potential of the student community to create an ensemble, this event will present a very different kind of concert experience as another take on acoustic and discursive modes of address.

Tetuzi Akiyama

Adam Art Gallery
Tuesday 6 July 2010

Tetuzi Akiyama Adam Art Gallery Tuesday 6 July 7.30pm

Since the ’90s master guitarist and bastion of the radical Japanese underground Tetuzi Akiyama has recorded and performed with an extensive legion of composers and artists both in Japan and abroad. He is the founder – alongside no-input mixer virtuoso, Toshimaru Nakamura – of the infamous Meeting at Offsite performance series in Tokyo, which has played host to some of experimental music’s most recognized icons.

Akiyama’s idiosyncratic and arresting vocabulary contains often volatile shifts between microtonal prepared guitar, folk pastoralism, country raga and weirdo boogie shred. His eclectic but consistently focused body of work – which also employs viola and electronics – has appeared on labels such as Locust Music (Espers, Henry Flynt, Matmos, Josephine Foster), Staubgold (To Rococo Rot, Vladislav Delay, Keith Rowe, Oren Ambarchi, Faust), Bottrop-Boy (DAT Politics, Nobukazu Takemura, Sunroof!), and Antiopic (Lee Ranaldo, Jim O’Rourke).

As Improvised Music from Japan writes, Akiyama ‘specializes in creating music with elements of both primitivism and realism by connecting his own aspirations, in a minimal and straightforward way, to the special instrumental qualities of the guitar. Sometimes delicately and sometimes boldly, he controls sound volumes ranging from micro to macro, in an attempt to convert the body into an electronic entity’.

Akiyama’s performance at the Adam Art Gallery will exploit the special instrumental qualities of the guitar to create an aural environment that attempts to convert the body into an electronic entity. His one-hour performance will be staged alongside Michael Parekowhai’s Patriot: Ten Guitars 1999.

Where is New Zealand Art History Now?

Adam Art Gallery
Saturday 10 July 2010

What is the current state of play for New Zealand art history? What (if any) are the discursive frameworks within which it is taking shape? Is it possible or worthwhile to write a history of art in New Zealand and is this the same as writing New Zealand art history? What are the opportunities and drawbacks of being involved with the production of a localised history? Does contemporary art need a history? These questions and others will be put to a panel of art historians with a view to setting an agenda for activating the discipline.

Victoria Student Media Lecture Series

Mile-End Hipsters and the Unmasking of Montreal’s Proletaroid Intelligentsia; or How a Bohemia Becomes Boho
Dr. Geoff Stahl
(Lecturer, School of English Film Theatre and Media Studies)
Adam Art Gallery
Tuesday 16 July 2010

VBC Media Series Geoff Stahl on Hipsters

Models of community

Facebook Group – Adam Art Gallery
Commences Wednesday 2 June 2010.
Discussion continues until the end of exhibition on Sunday 25 July 2010.

Prior to the emergence of relational aesthetics as a catch-all for thinking about art as a socially directed activity, the 1990s saw artists abandoning the idea that art was a solitary activity, the product of a unique, creative individual, and turning instead to the notion that a host of cultural, sexual and social forces give shape to the self. As a result new allegiances and standoffs developed that saw artists and cultural commentators banding together. Being Maori or a Pacific Islander, white and working class, an art world insider, subscriber to a particular subculture, or observer of the larger machinations of power, were all manifest in the art of this time; a sure sign that artists were rethinking identity in collective terms rather than in relation to the individual.

This discussion will address the cultural landscape of the 1990s and consider what shaped it as well as its legacy for the present, asking whether models of community still function in the way they did then or whether new ones have evolved to replace them. Recognising the different era in which we now live, it will take place via the forum of Facebook. Artists, musicians, cultural commentators and academics will share their thoughts, recollections and prognoses with the public online.