Friday, July 31, 2009
Dare. Truth. Promise
St. Paul St Gallery 3 (39 Symonds St)
29 July - 1 August 2009
This exhibition is based on the supposition that there is no separation between an art work and the contextual envelope made from the history of the artist, their inspirations, background circumstances and her or his intentions.
In fact it goes further. It says lets have six artists prepare six catalogue entries for a show, record them reading those six statements, play it in a designed space with a sound system, and make that a ‘collaborative’ sound work. Forget the original impetus being discussed - which was video, painted or collage artworks. Let the auxiliary replace the primary. The footnotes replace the essay. Descriptive spoken words are substituted for the initially envisaged art experiences.
In my view, this is hogwash. Pure piffle. That there is a state of infinite regress here where research and mental imagining becomes an ever-receding surrogate for a finite physical construction.
I’m not denying that the six recordings are a collaborative artwork because if artists choose to make such declarative claims involving ontological status, who am I to contradict them? I will say though that the work is conceptually and experientially poor. That Natalia Birgel, Alan Joy, Sam Leitch, Lee McGarva, Seilala Sini and Vaimaila Urale have wasted their energies doing this. They’ve been sidetracked when they should have concentrated on their original non-aural projects, perhaps constructing them separately in isolation.
Thank you to the artists for the images.