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.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Superb installation in K' Rd

Fiona Connor: Something transparent (please go around the back)
Michael Lett
15 April -16 May 2009

We have here one of the most amazing pieces of public art Auckland has seen for a long time. The daylight and night-time experiences it provides can both be savoured from the K’ Rd footpath, looking into the gallery windows and locked front entrance on the Edinburgh St corner. The back door will be in use for the duration of the show, and once inside the gallery, there awaits another view from within.

Through the windows, at first glance it looks like you are peeping into an infinity chamber, a piece of trickery done with mirrors. Seventeen glass windows and doors are presented perspectivally receding into the distance, each one a diminishing replica of the outside entrance. Look again and you realise there is no reversal of images – so no wizardry with reflection is involved. The transfer lettering on the door of business hours remains constantly correctly aligned. The doors are made of metal, wood, cardboard, paint, paper and glass. Close inspection shows that each one is different.

On one level this is a bizarre pun on art world accessibility, on the desire for comprehension on the part of the public, and the need for exposure on the part of the artist. However visually it is complex; but easy to grasp – and even enthralling with its wit. By the street front leans out a piece of smashed window glass that seems dangerous and lethal at leg height. It is not, being safe behind an outer plane of glass which is very hard to see.

This great, mischievous work can be admired 24 hours a day. I imagine it will attract a lot of attention. Right now, Fiona Connor is the toast of the town.

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