Here’s an update on the first in the STATEMENTS series of essays, An Oceanic Feeling: Cinema and the Sea by Erika Balsom. Apollo magazine featured Balsom in their 2018 40 under 40 list and recently followed with this audio interview covering the book withing a discussion of Balsom’s wider work with film. Click the image below to purchase a copy of An Oceanic Feeling from the Govett-Brewster Art Gallery shop or from LUX if you are in the UK/Europe.
We’re presently working on the second in the STATEMENTS series, written by Caleb Kelly and edited by Sarah Wall.
Last week I spoke at the opening of our new suite of exhibitions, a rather large suite featuring Haegue Yang’s first exhibition in Aotearoa, Triple Vita Nestings (touring from the IMA in Brisbane), Maureen Lander’s Flat-pack Whakapapa (touring from the Dowse Art Museum), new works from Richard Maloy and Jacqueline Elley and two new Len Lye exhibitions. This all wraps up 2018 and carries us through to 2019.
Here’s this week’s e-flux announcement of highlights from our 2019 programme.
The evening was also time to celebrate the work of Peter Peryer (1941-2018) who passed away in November. We arranged a small exhibition of Peter’s work for the summer season. The Govett-Brewster has a modest number of works in its collection which you can browse here. I’ll write more on Peter’s work in the coming weeks.
I recently spent a week in Whakatāne participating in Wakatāne Museum’s Volcanic Artist Residency programme. Given I’m not an artist I elected to use the residency as an opportunity to present a screening of the Govett-Brewster’s current Projection Series.
Projection Series #11: An Oceanic Feelingis curated Erika Balsom and is itself an outcome of the Govett-Brewster’s Internation Film Curator in Residence Programme. Balsom curated a programme of 11 films asking the question: what if we understood the ocean not as dividing us but as connecting us? What politics, what ethics, would follow? You can see the full programme here. It includes films by Peggy Ahwesh (US), Noël Burch (US) and Alan Sekula (US), CAMP (IND), Filipa Cesar (POR) and Louis Henderson (UK), Mati Diop (FR), The Otolith Group (UK), Maddie Leach (NZ), Rebecca Meyers (US), Philip Scheffner (DE), G. Anthony Svatek (US/AT), Francisco Rodriguez (CL/FR).
You can download a copy of the brochure for Projection Series #11: An Oceanic Feelinghere or purchase a copy of the larger publication here.
It was an early hope for the project that we could screen at coastal venues in New Zealand cities other than New Plymouth so the invitation to Wakatāne was timely and a good way to expand the scope of An Oceanic Feeling.
A big thank you and congratulations to Eric Holowacz and his team in Wakatāne for the sell-out audience and raising funds for Eastern Bay of Plenty Coast Care. Next week we present a selection of films from An Oceanic Feeling as we launch the book in Auckland at Te Uru Waitakere Contemporary Gallery in partnership with Circuit: Artist Film and Video Aotearoa New Zealand.
On Saturday I judged the 12th edition of the Estuary Art and Ecology Prize at Uxbridge Art and Culture’s Malcolm Smith Gallery. More info on the prize can be found here and some local press coverage here. Here are the four winning works from the finalists in the exhibition. More images are available here from artsdiary.
A new acquisition for my collection, this 1928 Martin Hürlimann photograph of the Chinese fishing nets at Fort Kochin, leads to news from the Indian Express on the Keralan government’s decision to fund the restoration of the nets, a key tourist driver for the state.
Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa curator of historical photography Lissa Mitchell writes on Louisa Herrmann, owner of the Herrmann Photography Studio, one of Wellington’s most successful studios of the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
The Free Radicals exhibition is the larger exhibition here and features works by Rodney Charters, Bruce Conner, Steve Cossman, Oskar Fischinger, Richard Lomas, Len Lye, Jodie Mack, and the Parasitic Fantasy Band (Eve Gordon/Sam Hamilton). The title of the show is obviously via Len Lye, but the subtitle was taken from Pip Chodorov in his similarly titled documentary Free Radicals: A History of Experimental Film, speaking of ‘cinema on the wrong side of the tracks’. Throughout the exhibition, we’re screening Chodorov’s film alongside the exhibition as well as Brecht Debackere’s EXPRMNTL documentary which explores the EXPRMNTL film festival held in Belgium between the 1940s and 1970s. It was here that Lye’s 1958 film Free Radicals won a prestigious 2nd place. Lye’s 1959 essay ‘Is Film Art?’ lamented the neglect of experimental cinema in the United States and declared he would no longer make experimental films.