Level 1, 300 Karangahape Rd,
Newton, Auckland, New Zealand//Aotearoa
+64 9 303 4965, www.artspace.org.nz
Tuafale Tanoa’i (Linda T.)
2. FOLD aw
ay from you
FOR THE NATION
14June – 19July 2008
INTRO- The annual ARTSPACE new artists exhibition highlights
contemporary art practice in New Zealand that is new and
vital. In Architecture for the Nation six artists are offered the
opportunity to realize their work in a larger context.
It is a problematic premise seeking the new, as the question
always arises ‘what is new?’ and the assumption exists that
the new is always better. Therefore, this selection of artists is
less about the new and more of a glimpse at the dynamism
and momentum of contemporary art in New Zealand at present.
Yet, in allowing a glimpse of this moment in time, Architecture
for the Nation also recognizes an impulse to frame and organise
our viewing. Both a broad conception of architecture and the
premise of the nation state are inherently artificial systems that
shape our lives. This exhibition takes as a starting point the way
these artists manage and challenge such systems of ordering.
Working within and around a climate of strategy, they shift and
play with the structuring of material frameworks.
Architecture has little to do with the construction of a shelter or
dwelling, it is an arrangement of social thoughts. In that it abides
by an agenda, it seems there is a similarity between architecture
and ideas of nationhood or national identity. It is the setting
forth of organizational formations and schema, which determine
a desired behaviour. Art moves beyond that, it questions those
core ideas and hopefully opens up more diverse and divergent
paths to move along.
SIMON LAWRENCE creates
low-tech sculptures and time- THE UNSUSPECTED EXISTENCE
based works exploring the (Notes from Buckminster Fuller)
imaginative potential of simple 262.10 We do not have two Universes: this world and the next world. Death
material fabrications. Both the is only the as-yet-unexperienced, superlow frequencies. Both death and life
wit and the artifice of mystical are complementary functions of our electromagnetic experience (See Secs.
tricks and paranormal setups 526.25 and 531.10.) disastrously misleading to human thought.
play a prominent part in his 986.302 The explorer gains assurance by discovering the relevant minimum-
practice. Simon has exhibited maximum limit cases—the min-max limits of the variables—of the system
in solo and group shows under consideration.
around New Zealand including 1050.31 Stones may be broken into ever smaller stones, but they cannot be
Break: Construct, Govett- broken into no stones. They may be broken into gravel and the gravel into
Brewster Art Gallery, New dust and the dust separated into crystals that are too small to be seen except
Plymouth (2006); Telecom through a lensed microscope; or they may be further broken apart into atoms
that can be seen only through electron field microscopes. But the stones
Prospect, Wellington (2007); cannot be broken into nothingnesses—only into somethings. And somethings
Path of the Path, The Physics are always systems.
Room, Christchurch (2007);
1052.66 The metaphysical is comprehensively generalizable. The physical is
and Another Destination,
always realized only as special case experience. The metaphysical reorders the
Christchurch Art Gallery disorderly-prone physical. The metaphysical continually seeks to comprehend,
(2007/08). He holds a BFA master, harness, and cohere the physical. The metaphysical comprehends and
from Ilam School of Fine Arts, reorders. Humans oscillate between the pushes of their physical incarnation
and the tensing of their metaphysical propensities. This ubiquitous push-pulling
University of Canterbury.
propagates cosmic regenerativity.
Simon Lawrence intended to include more than the two pictures from the
original volumes than eventually became the background that informs these
newer works. Those that remained play a central and expository role in
Lawrence’s practice. The discussion surrounding them describes their dynamic
or transformational aspects. When eternal principals become “time-size
realized” as in work of this kind, the pushes and pulls of real world forces and
cosmic life forces enter the picture. His workings have become very much
about these tensions.
TUAFALE TANOA’I is also
known as Linda T. Her practice ARCHITECTURE FOR THE NATION
is motivated by a desire to Written by & for Linda T
share narratives, entertain, When I think about the term ‘New Artist’ I imagine the artist inside a very large
and to draw attention to egg. At a specific time and date, the artist will then break through the egg’s
issues that concern the shell and slowly hatch-out into the scene.
communities who occupy her
Don’t ask me why I like art.
installation spaces. An avid I don’t like art; I just think about it, engage with it everyday.
collector of media, she creates It helps me to build and complete works by engaging with different media.
environments and refashions It gives me methods to tell stories in a multitude of ways.
I don’t like art; I love it.
the viewing and producing of
media through intercepting Tuafale Tanoa’i (or to most of us - Linda T) is one who doesn’t really fit into this
the interview, documentary category as a ‘New Artist’ breaking into the local art scene. She is the scene
and live performance forms. and she’s been gigging it for a while.
She has been selected to Don’t ask me why I question western methodologies.
attend and exhibit at the 10th I don’t like it but I question western methodologies everyday, in angry ways.
South Pacific Arts Festival, It enables me to address a ‘politics of difference and otherness’ (hooks, 1990)
It highlights imperialism, critiques notions of ‘identity for oppressed groups’
Pago Pago, American Samoa
in July 2008. Linda T. will be It forces me to look at my ancestral knowledge and my numerous roles in the
completing a Master of Art present and future.
and Design in Visual Arts at I don’t like to question western methodologies; it creates more work for me,
I dislike that intensely.
AUT in 2008.
Stomping the local grounds from Kingsland to Karangahape, the architecture
is all too familiar and at the same time different as the nation moves with time.
All of which have been fuel for Linda’s practice of ‘telling stories’ that bridge
between the past and present.
Don’t ask me why I like to tell stories.
I don’t like to tell stories; I just think about it everyday, in different ways.
To help create histories that link the past to the present.
To help to re-address colonial issues and to feed into decolonising minds
I don’t like to tell stories; I love it.
Don’t ask me why I look at notions of identity, class, gender and sex.
They are everyday issues.
Having the power to define these issues produces social power in our present
Also because I can and I feel like I have to.
Her contribution to the Architecture for the Nation exhibition will speak of these
things through live performance, Video Installation and overall occupancy of the
gallery space as a public ‘hangout’ for whanau, friends and the local community
to engage with.
Don’t ask me why I use performance installation art.
I find it exciting and interactive.
It’s painful and pleasurable.
It is inclusive and exclusive.
For me it is a realm that is ‘instantaneously planned spontaneity’.
It’s unique and only happens once.
TUAFALE TANOA’I (artist known as LINDA T).
The Auto Interview July 2007
JANET LILO (LINDA T’s GP)
Kaikorero June 2008
ASH KILMARTIN’s drawing-
based practice is concerned Building plans do not disclose the processes by which they were formed, nor
with the way the values and do they disclose the processes by which they will be realised. A plan presents
its information with simple factualness, but as a concept closed and turned
structures of institutions in upon itself: the context of the design’s creation and the day-to-day realities
are made visible, and how of the structure’s use are hidden from view, deflecting attention from the oh-
statements are made through so-human contingencies these represent. Yet obviously a plan also speaks
the design of buildings. directly to real things: mediating between an architect’s intention and a finished,
inhabited structure, the plan oversees the transition from the abstract to the
She was a finalist in the concrete, and seeks to maintain the transparency of this transition.
2007 Tunbridge Scholarship
watercolour competition, and As a cultural artefact, the relative significance of a modernist plan to a modernist
her work has been shown at building is minor, and even a photograph of the building stimulates more general
interest than a ‘mere’ working document. But, if it is an understanding of the
the Engine Room, Wellington International Style’s most essential impulse that we are seeking, the idealism
and at rm103 in Auckland. at its core, it is surely not an experience of the machine for living in that will
She is also the Onsite Curator guide us there, for in Le Corbusiers’ way of thinking (and that of his peers)
and writer for Window, at the there is an abstraction of what it means to be human, a social rationalism that
shrinks from the messy reality of lived experience. Indeed, it’s the special way
University of Auckland and in which conceptualisation was abstracted from material reality by such modern
is the visual arts reporter for thought that creates the resemblance between its ordered boxes and the naïve
95bFM. Ash is completing perfection of the structures children make from building blocks; a similar sense
a Bachelor of Arts/Bachelor of real people not figuring high in considerations. As it turns out, the soul of
modern architecture exists somewhere in the vicinity of the plan.
of Fine Arts with Honours at
the Elam School of Fine Arts, I say ‘somewhere in the vicinity’ because it is difficult for the plan to hold
The University of Auckland. its ground, since it’s existence is defined as the in-between, the transparent
vehicle, despite the fact that it so accurately expresses modernism’s closed
perfection. And this kind of slipperiness is precisely what Ash addresses with
her drawings. These are not more intermediaries, but results. Plans here are
given an autonomous life; they become a point of resolution in a practice, thus
allowing attention to focus on the ideologies inherent in them.
The drawings don’t derive from existing plans: they are the products of extensive
research into and around two Auckland buildings (which were never fully
realised), working backwards from points where the impetus behind the design
has been most highly mediated – photographs, illustrations, information, all
post-construction – in an attempt to uncover those values present at the start,
values whose abstract existence has since been merged with their concrete
realisation. But the way these values manifest themselves in the drawings is not
immediately visible, since the subtlety of the pencil lines means one cannot take
in the whole at once, just as one cannot experience the whole building at once,
nor experience the architect’s original intentions realised. Rather, their presence
is implied by the process of research, as an accumulation of understanding and
a will to discover.
This will lays a foundation for Ash’s practice: the desire for a project that one
could believe in, for ideals that transcend their implementation. For is it not
more beautiful to strive and fail gloriously than to let cynicism reign? To transfer
modernist ideals from their hangover presence in public space to the limited
sphere of an artist’s practice yields a useful recognition: for an individual, great
ambitions needn’t be absolutely achievable, because unlike in the exemplar
structures Ash has selected to draw, one’s practice exercises little direct
influence on, and certainly no control over how others live their lives. The
capacity to act in such way, regardless of one’s success, is the artist’s freedom.
works across a range Ω
of disciplines, primarily
Recently I found myself at a café, drinking a hot beverage, chatting to an inquisitive
installation and photography, stranger, who drank a cool one. Pierre - a Parisian, as I found out - had arrived in
to articulate the possibility the country a day or two prior to our encounter and was enthusiastic to engage
of space without time and people he met. A few minutes into the conversation however, it became clear that
a language of abstraction. Pierre and I would have trouble in communicating more than rudimentary concepts,
as his English was mostly utilitarian, and my French close to non-existent.
Alexandra is on the board
of the Auckland artist-run In astronomy, the symbol Ω – Omega – is used as a hypothetical variable to
Newcall Gallery. Recent express the possible density of the universe. The ramifications of the value
of this density parameter inside of these equations are vast. Assuming a zero
shows include This Much
vacuum energy density, if Omega is larger than unity, the geometry is closed;
is Certain at George Fraser the universe will eventually stop expanding, then collapse. If Omega is less than
Gallery and Blue as Silver unity, it is open; and the universe expands forever.
as Gold at Newcall Gallery.
We are all fluent with our own thoughts, but to express them so that others can
Alexandra completed her BFA hear what you mean it is always necessary to mediate your ideas through a system
at Elam School of Fine Arts, of universalised abstraction – language. In my conversation with Pierre, our ideas
The University of Auckland and opinions and all the things we sought to express had to be conveyed using
in 2007. much simpler words than we would usually use. Using simpler words reduced the
space between what I meant, and what he heard, and vice-versa.
In her work ‘Ω’ Sasha has made a gesture of abstraction. She has removed
a letter from the middle of two identical signs. She has placed these objects
inside a gallery. One of these signs – sans ‘C’ - can be seen from the office of
the gallery. The other sign is also without the cipher and can be seen by many
others, as it faces away from the gallery.
Having been tempted by the cool beverage Pierre had been drinking, and having
finished my coffee, I decided to buy myself a beer. It turned out that Pierre had been
similarly influenced, as he returned to the table a short while after with a coffee.
In communicating with Pierre, I had tried to reduce the space of concepts by
fitting them into less complex words, so that they became compact, concrete, and
could travel between us with a lesser risk of misinterpretation. In communicating
with us through her artwork however, Sasha has done the exact opposite, she has
purposefully exaggerated the distance between a sign and it’s meaning.
Importantly however, Sasha has not used this gesture as way to destabilize the
weight of either the sign on the building, or the sign in the gallery – each sign is
read as complete. The meaning of the signs and of the gesture hover between
an under-standing of form and an understanding of content, the act of the artist
becoming something with a hypothetical value. What the artist seems to be doing
is presenting us with a chance to each decide on a value for Omega, a theoretical
concept based upon ideas about material reality and with ramifications that
encompass the universe.
RANGITUHIA HOLLIS’ work
considers how we inhabit ˉ
When introducing yourself in a formal Maori environment, your name is not
and engage with social and important. Instead your identity is defined according to a matrix of geographic
and geneological signifiers. Referred to as a pepeha (or tribal maxim), it goes
architectural structures. something like: “this is my mountain, this is my river, this is my whare, these
He is concerned with how are my people”. Any listener worth their mettle will know instantly who you are,
“we make meaning through where you belong and most importantly, what they should expect from you as
our banal activities in real a person. Within this framework, the deeds of your ancestors walk before you
with the unknown future behind (‘kia mua/ki muri’). This concept of collective
spaces”. Rangituhia’s moving- ˉ
identity is formative to Maori psyche and in conflict with the narcissist pursuit of
image works develop from ˉ
self, promoted throughout the western world. This is why any Maori who begin
the combination of gaming, their mihi with ‘Ko [name] taku ingoa’ are treated with suspicion.
architecture, home video and
de_kapua is the pepeha of Rangituhia Hollis delivered in a visual language
animation formats. In April and lays out a matrix within which his identity is constructed. His four-screen
2008 he took part in a new projection alternates between family home videos and virtual spaces. Each
international project entitled demonstrates impacts of urban drift while retaining an assuredness about the
Cityscapers: By the Throat at ˉ
core values of Maori identity. The videos depict family gatherings held outside
the customary site of the marae and document celebrations of whakapapa,
Edinburgh University thanks to togetherness and collective identity. This appropriation of new sites for the
a British Council scholarship. continued practice of whanaungatanga and manaakitanga is an assertion of
Rangituhia is currently ˉ
core Maori values in the face of displacement through urban drift. The videos
completing a Post-Graduate are contrasted with virtual animations of geographic sites that iterate the
tribal (collective) and individual (urban) identity of the artist. These include
Diploma of Fine Arts at Elam reconstructions of the Waipiro Trading Company (est. 1886) and the artist’s first
School of Fine Arts, The student flat in South Auckland. It is between an expanding nexus of geographic
University of Auckland. ˉ
poles that the artist negotiates his contemporary Maori identity.
Through the contrast of the real and virtual, the romantic and realist, de_kapua
creates a ‘third space’ in which linear concepts of time and space are collapsed.
Within these dichotomies, western notions of self (and self portraiture) are
deconstructed to assert an inter-generational kin-based identity. The space at
the centre of this work creates what Michel Foucault describes as a heterotopia:
an “enacted utopia in which… all the other real sites which can be found within
the culture, are simultaneously represented, contested and inverted”. In essence,
de_kapua not only accords with Maori protocols of identity but also accounts for
the shifting ground of hybrid identity construction and gives some indication of
the nebulous nature of being Maori in the 21st century.
RICHARD FRATER works
across several disciplines RICHARD FRATER – MAKING STUFF UP
in his art practice, engaging
\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\ Shot in the Dark
drawing as a guiding
principal. He is interested in A while ago Richard showed me some pictures. He shot them in the backyard
ephemeral architecture and and, because it’s at night, the flash is everything. So he’s throwing a green
garden hose into the air off the back porch, holding the camera in one hand
experiential sculpture, framing
and the hose in the other. As you can imagine it’s kinda tricky so they’re always
an exchange between the a little bit wonky, but you get the picture. It’s great because hose-shadows are
activation of materials and cast over white sheets hanging on the clothesline, kinda like the bass-line in
the viewer. He is a founding Billy-Jean sort of, though I don’t think that’s what he was going for.
member of the Auckland Anyway the thing that is really happening is the hose throwing, imagine lassoes
artist-run space A Centre or something. In one really great one’ a bit of hose rests in mid-flight on the
for Art. In 2007 Richard porch’s white handrail while the rest arcs up into the air. The hose’s shiny
completed significant projects greenness catches the flash and really stands out, but of course because
pictures have no movement this all appears a bit fake, like a bad collage. There’s
at ST PAUL ST and Blue a delicate way these lines create shapes loosely flung onto the picture plane,
Oyster Gallery and will be and with the flatness of the flash if you think about it too much it doesn’t really
participating in an exhibition seem to make any sense.
at Enjoy Public Art Gallery in
///////////////////////// Fake and Good
June 2008. Richard graduated
with a Post-Graduate Diploma There’s this great song from Taken by Trees. It starts like this. First a two-two
of Fine Arts from Elam School base line for a few bars. Then the woman’s voice singing a love song at an even
tempo, a little bored. After a few more bars the beat kicks in. Awesome. The
of Fine Arts, The University of beat’s constructed entirely of two interweaving handclaps. These handclaps are
Auckland in 2006. beyond me somehow. Sometimes I think they’re identical beats arranged slightly
off time from each other, at other times I wonder if they’re mirror images. As the
beats move around each other I feel they have a particular logic, a logic that
holds the sentiment of the song subtly but more aptly than the lyrics or other
aspects of the arrangement.
FOR THE NATION
14June – 19July 2008
ACKNOW- Curated by Brian Butler and Kate Brettkelly-Chalmers
LEDGEMENTS Catalogue designed by Tiga Seagar and Sarah Gladwell
ARTSPACE wishes to thank our patrons and sponsors: ASB
Community Trust, Beck’s, Langham Hotel Auckland, Caffe
L’affare, and Aalto Colour for their continued generosity and
support. We also greatly appreciate the involvement of Studio
Art Supplies and Brayco Floor Coverings in supplying materials
for this exhibition. As always, we are indebted to our team of
volunteers for helping us install this show, in particular Martyn
Reynolds, Judith Carnaby, Teva Chonon, Matthew Crookes and
Image credit: Sam Hartnett
ARTSPACE receives major public
funding from Creative New Zealand.