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, February 8, 2008


Alicia Frankovich: Counter/action
Starkwhite, Auckland
1 February - 1 March 2008

Frankovich’s show is a suite of (mostly) framed photographs and an inverted screened map of the world, positioned around another photo - on its side - leaning against some metal trestles. The show seems a sort of rebus: a combination of Simon Denny meets John Baldessari. It could be a spoof on those artists.

The ‘floor sculpture’ features a photo - in a damaged folder - of a thin metalic Armani purse with a cord handle. Close to it, draped over the trestles on one corner, is what seems to be a section of basketball-hoop netting. One of the photos is a bunch of ripening tomatoes and a rope ladder into which has been jammed a piece of woven plastic, and around the corner is an image of a foot sticking out of a top floor window of an old brick barn.

What does this all add up to as a statement? It seems to examine suspension, the effects of gravity on certain substances, and how weight behaves when spread out through soft versus inflexible materials. Formally, the angle of projection for the foot relates to the trestles and the highlight of the room, the pink map.

The screened map shows - using zigzaggy lines reminiscent of eye movement diagrams – the routes between Christchurch and Auckland and the UK, Central Europe and Japan. As discrete items the map and the ‘rope ladder’ photograph make a fine pair – linked by diagonal trajectories.

The inverted map in particular, is an intriguing image that works well with the accompanying twitchy, fine, black line. It implies the trips to Europe and Asia are a process involving natural laws, as inevitable as a tomato falling off a stalk and landing on the ground.

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