PUBLIC PROGRAMME: Wellington Media Collective / Martha Rosler / White Fungus

October 2012 – February 2013

Click here for the print friendly version.

We Will Work With You! Wellington Media Collective 1978-1998
Martha Rosler, The Bowery in Two Inadequate Descriptive Systems
The Consumers of the Future, a commissioned project by White Fungus



Wednesday 24 October 2012, 12 PM
Adam Art Gallery

Join Chris McBride, Phil Kelly, and other members of the Wellington Media Collective for a tour of the exhibition.

// In support of the one work exhibition of Martha Rosler’s The Bowery in Two Inadequate Descriptive Systems (1974-75) the Adam Art Gallery, with the Elam School of Fine Arts, University of Auckland, presents two practitioner-focused events exploring the history, politics, and contemporaneity of documentary practice:

MINI-SYMPOSIUM: The Challenge of The Bowery

Saturday 27 October, 12 PM
Adam Art Gallery

Geoffrey Batchen, Chair
Anne Noble
Wayne Barrar
Gavin Hipkins
Neil Pardington

Geoffrey Batchen has written of The Bowery as a ‘fundamental’ work: a ground-zero point of reference for documentary photography since the 1970s. This symposium aims to exfoliate the implications of this claim from the point of view of practice, by bringing together a range of artists working in self-conscious relation to the tradition. How do photographers negotiate the challenge to traditional documentary embodied in Rosler’s work (and reiterated in essays by herself, Allan Sekula, and others in this period)? And how does the answer to this question, in its permutations across generational lines, speak to the contemporary life of the form?

FILM PROGRAMME: The Essay Film and Conceptual Art

Saturday 24 November, 4.15 PM
New Zealand Film Archive Wellington
84 Taranaki Street

Martha Rosler Reads “Vogue”, dir. Martha Rosler, 1982. 25:45 min., colour, sound.
Super-8 Shorts, dir. Martha Rosler, 1974. 14:50 min., Super 8mm film on video, colour, silent:
  Backyard Economy I, 3:26 min.
  Backyard Economy II (Diane Germain Mowing), 6:32 min.
  Flower Fields, 3:40 min.

Te matakite o Aotearoa / The Māori Land March, dir. Geoff Steven, 1975, Seehear Films/TV2. 60 min., colour, sound. Photography: Leon Narbey, Camera Assistant: Gil Scrine, Sound: Philip Dadson, Editing: Geoff Steven, Philip Dadson, Gil Scrine.

Why did so many artists of the 1970s make argument-based films? What does the interplay of sound and image offer to the aesthetics of conceptual art? And where do we locate the global resonance of social issues as indigenous as The Bowery, and as historical as the Māori land march?

Alex Monteith and Christina Barton will lead a conversation after the screening.

LECTURE: Polly Cantlon, Design for Life

Wednesday 14 November, 6 PM
Adam Art Gallery

Polly Cantlon will provide a historical description of the Wellington Media Collective and its radical aspirations, contextualizing the group’s local and international significance in the terms of graphic design. Focusing on specific graphic works within the exhibition, she will assess the role of design in the creation of publics and as a form of participatory democratic practice.

Co-sponsored by the School of Design and the Department of Political Science and International Relations, Victoria University of Wellington.

POSTER COMPETITION: The Consumers of the Future

Friday 25 January
Our children are important … They are the consumers of the future.
– John Key

Between 2004 and 2007 the Wellington City Council demolished the city’s historic upper Cuba Street precinct, home to many artists and creative people, to make way for a motorway extension. This alteration of the city’s public space took place amidst long debate, and at the very moment at which the Council was branding Wellington New Zealand’s ‘Creative Capital.’ “Being kicked out of our studio politicised us and we became interested in the movement against unchecked and rampant inner-city development” write the editors of White Fungus magazine. This poster competition asks participants to use a comment by current Prime Minister John Key as a point of departure. The winning poster, to be judged on the basis of concept and design, will be published in the next issue of White Fungus and on the Gallery’s website. A limited edition print-run of 500 posters will be distributed in a stack at the Adam Art Gallery.

Judges: White Fungus; Wellington Media Collective; John Lake, artist; Kate Daellenbach, School of Marketing and International Business, Victoria University of Wellington.


Saturday 26 January, 12 PM
Adam Art Gallery

Live from Brooklyn, New York, this is the inaugural event of the Adam Art Gallery Skype Conversation Series. Martha Rosler will address her seminal work The Bowery in Two Inadequate Descriptive Systems (1974-75), discussing politics then and now, documentary practice, and activism in the digital commons over coffee, croissants, and web cameras.

Geoffrey Batchen and Michelle Menzies will act as discussants.

LECTURE: Rochelle Simmons, Visual Poetries 

Wednesday 30 January, 6 PM
Adam Art Gallery

Dr. Rochelle Simmons (Department of English, University of Otago) will discuss Martha Rosler’s seminal photo-text work The Bowery in Two Inadequate Descriptive Systems (1974-5) in the terms of visual poetry: as a work preoccupied with problems of incommensurability, and the ethical and poetic limits of representation.

Co-sponsored by Hue & Cry Journal.


Thursday 7 February, 8 PM
Adam Art Gallery

30 Arthur Street, dir. David Donaldson, 2007. 20 min.

Beep Beep and The Island Of Terror, dir. Dave Donaldson, 2012. 15 min. (World Premiere!!)

+ Local Music Video Sampler

30 Arthur Street was a Wellington musical institution. For more than 18 years the building was used as rehearsal space and studio, in which time 20 plus albums and nine feature film scores were partly or wholly recorded there. Directed by Plan 9 composer David Donaldson, this impressionistic doco chronicles some of the building’s musical history, plus its destruction to make way for a bypass. Amongst the musicians featured are Toby Laing from Fat Freddys Drop, drummer Anthony Donaldson, and ex-Mutton Bird David Long.

Evening screening with beer & sausages.


Saturday 9 February, 4 PM
Adam Art Gallery

Victoria University Press, Wellington Media Collective, and the Adam Art Gallery warmly invite you to the launch the book We Will Work With You: Wellington Media Collective 1978-1998, at the closing of the exhibition.

Musical performance by Thrashing Marlin, a Braille Collective duo.

For more info see the Victoria University Press website.