Weekend Reading

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Len Lye, ‘W. H. Auden’, 1947
Len Lye Foundation Collection, Govett-Brewster Art Gallery / Len Lye Centre

This week we celebrate W. H. Auden’s birthday. Here’s Hannah Arendt’s 1975 New Yorker piece on the poet and above is Len Lye’s 1947 photogram portrait of Auden. The portrait includes lines from Auden’s The Fall of Rome (in his own hand). You can find all of Lye’s photogram portraits in this publication, including Georgia O’Keeffe, Joan Miró, Hans Richter, Le Corbusier and Baby Dodds.

The Times Literary Supplement recently published Genevieve Yue’s Secret asphyxiating world: Films and the watery depths, a review of Erika Balsom’s An Oceanic Feeling: Cinema and the SeaYou’ll need to be a subscriber to the TLS to read online. The book can be purchased online via the Govett-Brewster in New Zealand or LUX in the UK.

Artist Shannon Novak has been interviewed about his thoughts on the Govett-Brewster Art Gallery with Home magazine. Shannon will be exhibiting in the next season of exhibitions (April – July 2019) at the Gallery with Sub Rosa.

A few weeks back I was interviewed for a Taranaki Daily News article about the Gallery’s screening of The Room (dir. Tommy Wiaeau), one of the stranger media moments I’ve experienced.

Reading about the downfall of New York art dealer Mary Boone I was directed to this interesting piece about her fellow dealer Leo Castelli.

An Oceanic Feeling continued

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.

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We’re presently working on the second in the STATEMENTS series, written by Caleb Kelly and edited by Sarah Wall.

Two easy pieces

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Credit: Kelly Loney

Here’s a couple of recent pieces from the Pantograph Punch.

First, Alice Tappenden interviews me on my role of Len Lye Curator at the Govett-Brewster Art Gallery / Len Lye Centre.

Second,  Doug Dillaman discusses our recent An Oceanic Feeling projects with Erika Balsom alongside our wider film programming at the Govett-Brewster.

Volcanic Artist Residency

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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 Feeling is 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 Feeling here 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.

Weekend Reading

Dayanita Singh is interviewed here discussing her Pocket Museum publication, a miniature version of the Museum Bhavan exhibition published by Steidl.

Some listening for a change. Last month 95bFM broadcast an interview with Erika Balsom as part of their Artbank programme. Balsom is Senior Lecturer in Film Studies at King’s College London and was visiting New Zealand as part of the Govett-Brewster At Gallery’s International Film Curator in residence programme. Balsom covers her visit to New Zealand (and Australia) in this month’s Art Monthly magazine (unavailable online).

There’s a lot of talk around Alexander Calder lately, principally around he Whitney Museum’s exhibition, Calder: Hypermobility. This piece from Hyperallergic covers the performative aspect of Calder’s motor driven works in the Whitney show. The article includes several videos from the Whitney’s channel which lead me on the Calder Foundation’s own videos. Here’s Calder Foundation chairman and grandson of Calder, Alexander S. C. Rower, demonstrating motion in Calder’s work.

The other exciting news in the Calder world is Jed Perl’s new biography, an excerpt  published here by the Smithsonian.

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WYNDHAM LEWIS: A BATTERY SHELLED (1919)

The Imperial War Museum North’s Wyndham Lewis exhibition gets a review in the London Review of Books, reviewer Jon Day observing Lewis’ best work was his war paintings:

‘In fact, the pictures are still shocking: war gave Lewis a subject which was equal to his anger. He pays as much attention to the angle of a rack of shells as he does to the bodies of the men around them. Unlike some of his peers, he wasn’t interested in the dynamism of war – there are no explosions, his war paintings are strangely static. Nor did the war do much to strip him of the schoolboyish contrarianism of Blast. But it did give him a way of applying Vorticism to the real world, providing a context for what Read called ‘the geometry of fear’. Lewis’s work can still feel more modernist than any of his peers.’