New Improved All Inclusive Warren Olds
As the Dunedin Public Art Gallery squares up against the might that
is Dunedin parochialism, the Otago Daily Times, along with its
letter-to-the-editor writers, seems intent on turning the gallery into
a wet firecracker - something not unlike the Robert McDougall. The Museums
Business Unit (yes, that's the gallery) has seemingly played into the
hands of the debate, by trying to make its historical curator Peter Entwisle
redundant - the case goes to the employment court sometime.
The wait is not yet over for the Dunedin Public Art Gallery's new venture - the "window
by the Moray Place back entrance" which has now become Rear Window.
And to put to bed popular debate over the current Q&A banner - it clearly
references Julian Daspher's 1997 JDDJ, thus making it an artwork. (http://www.gdv.org.nz/gallery/jd/jddjdn.html)
In other recent events at The Public, le top artiste celebre, Ralph Hotere switched
on his Black Light (well he stood outside for the ceremony) in which there
is a work that features a very large part of a boat. This show, which floods
(?!) the entire first floor, features historical Hoteres as well as some, heaven
forbid, contemporary collaborations with Bill Culbert. The most poncy nuit de
opening featured a rousing delivery by former dame Cheryll Sotheran. With lyrics
of fury, MC Sotheran claimed the Dunedin Public Art Gallery to have the best
building in the world, with the best staff and now the best show. Not really
a lie but it eventually became too much for some giggling blondes behind me.
For this reviewer though, the show references the film Event Horizon (oooohhhh
my god Sam Neill) in that "black light" sounds similar to "dark
matter" ...have you ever seen fire in zero gravity...?
[left] as predicted the planetary
alignment destruction came to nought, and Nathan Thompson'smillennium
anxiety (detail) 1999, stayed on the wall at arc cafe.
[right] McDonalds Dunedin launched McCafe recently, threatening to shut-down
all competition with a 200m radius. Watch out for these ranch wraps...
Le grande opening of the new maison de la Blue Oyster was quite a partay, way
back in February. Les arts most seductif included Jonathan Nicol's INITECH -
an undermining take on the UNITEC logo that references the closed nature of such
institutions (can you tell I've just paraphrased the ODT - and that it has nothing
to do with the movie Office Space? - inside information... heh). Blue
Oyster directeur artistique, Steve Carr, has proferred a mixed bag of follow-up
shows. Crazee Dane Mitchell and Victoria Munro's invisible white cube paradise at
the Blue Oyster, provided nothing for the regular wine-skivers to hide behind
apart from a small work on the ceiling (it was a smoke alarm). Oh, and there
was some other stuff in the office as well. Jimmy Cooper and James Robinson's
trash meets trash-type affair featured, among other things, gold coin entry (first
BYO alcohol and now this, g-sus). The 'live' talent apparently had to be really
loud so that the guitarist could hear what they were playing - high NRG stuff
but fortunately I was well outside the area by this time. Le badboy originale
Nicholas Spratt whipped up A little more big bang theory - a two week
gap-filler that continued on from where his black holes article in the previous
issue of Log left off. Surprisingly like a complete show, Nicholas' work
makes reference to territorial ball sports, and features the referee's glasses
with several travel editions of Connect Four. Definitely cutting hedge. Who knows
what's coming up at the Blue Oyster, but keep an oeil open for something from
the Bing Dawe crib. He's made a scale model of the space - straight hardcore.
Séraphine Pick's Frances Hodgkins year is over, and by the time you read
this, so will her show at the Hocken. Missed the opening but totally disagreed
with what some geezer had written in the comments book, "mmm, No, No, I
don't like it one bit... Some of it was interesting so to speak, but all of her
paintings are sexually orientated, too much focused on sinister 'evilness' of
woman, found it very disturbing as it doesn't bring out the pureness of woman
yet the uter opposite..." No doubt they enjoyed the previous show of Grahame
Sydney drawings and lithographs - how does he manage to keep those nipples
erect for the length of time it takes to complete each drawing?
Recent Otago Polytechnic Artists at Work guest, Gisela Genther (who incidentally
is "Guzzle Gentler" to my spell-checker) had the council OK her huge
power-grid compass for the Octagon. The singing Shanghai cicada accompaniment
is unfortunately more like a seagull laying an ostrich egg. But I'm told volume
levels are often turned down for performers in the Octagon, namely skateboarders
olé-ing over the fountain - so that their cussing can be clearly heard
across at the Senior Citizens club.
Michael Morley's recent outing, Spazz Heaven, at the Abalone Restaurant & Baa,
was innocuous enough and even verging on 'proper' art. However, management refused
to take the title on the chin and replaced half of the credit-card sized drawings
(framed even) with some large painting arse. "Honey, they're clashing with
our barman who likes to spin the Port and then try to pour it with the lid on." (Spazz
Robin Craw is back in town working on his art career. And the website of the
is Tim Checkley's latest - check the chaos breath on that bunny rabbit...
Web editors note: As the Easter season has been and gone you will no longer find
Mr Checkley's masterpiece on the Vodafone site. However, as you can see we have
done you the service of hosting the Flash game on this page. Control the Easter
Bunny's movement with your mouse, and unleash his 'Chaos Breath' with a click
of your mouse button. You will be awarded one easter egg for each building you
Can't see the animation above? Go get the Macromedia Flash plugin,
right now. Faster!
Invitations for exhibitions to be considered for review in this column along
with supporting information (cos' it saves me thinking of something to write)
must be sent to: Warren Olds, PO Box 5703, Dunedin.
Warren Olds [Leo Ox] is an artist, designer [look-it - Log!]
and occasional member of New Zealand's uplifted massive. He currently lives
and works in the oyster of the south - Dunedin.