Nau mai, haere mai, welcome to eyeCONTACT, a forum built to encourage art reviews and critical discussion about the visual culture of Aotearoa New Zealand. I'm John Hurrell its editor, a New Zealand writer, artist and curator. While Creative New Zealand and other supporters are generously paying me and other contributors to review exhibitions over the following year, all expressed opinions are entirely our own.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Not good

Johl Dwyer and Fatigue
27 May - 13 June 2009

What can one make of this? A show of indifferently displayed, dull, wacko, trippy-dippy stoner art – but whoa!...maybe that is too harsh. Cruel and irresponsible even? Yet to be clinical, Dwyer’s (I think unfortunate) exhibition seems too incohesive to be anything other than bi-polar. However I am assuming they are not from such a cognitively disadvantaged person. That being in ACFA there is some sort of strategic reason behind their disarray.

Out of forty odd collages on unframed bits of cardboard, made of torn wrapping paper, pencil and ink drawings, and daubs from experiments with smeared paint, maybe six or seven are worth looking at, and most of those are placed inaccessibly high near the ceiling or down by the skirting board.

The work seems to come from a pharmaceutically imbibing practice, which with talented people might remotely lead eventually to some positive outcomes. You can’t analyse the process as you would with an innovative artist like Dan Arps and look for patterns. These ‘spaced–out’ collages are tired cliché. A stack of sixties Zap comics would be less shambolic, and considerably more informative.

Fatigue’s videos are a little better – if you can see them at all in the glaring daylight, and are entertained by images of people walking down the street in three second bursts, repeated six times.

I usually have huge respect for ACFA projects but here I’m baffled. They’ve lost the plot.

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