By Habib William Kherbek
Michael Stevenson’s retrospective at the KW Institute for Contemporary Art, Berlin, traces a 35 year practice exploring the intricacies of storytelling and truth in popular culture, media and technology. In this piece, Habib William Kherbek explores how Stevenson’s practice calls into question the infrastructures of knowledge formation in a sprawling, fragmented exhibition from inside the belly of a whale.
By Chris Holdaway
In Someplace Else, Louise Stevenson chronicles her complex and unfolding relationship with Hungary, travelling back and forth from Aotearoa since her first visit in 1991. In this elaborate, handbound mixed media book, Stevenson traces decades of travel with careful preservation of ephemera, annotating ticket stubs and found photographs with her own drawings and writing. In this piece, poet and bookmaker Chris Holdaway considers the memories that inhere in overlooked items, repurposed carefully by Stevenson as talismans of place and the passage of time.
By Alice Bonnot
Porto-based New Zealand artist Yota Ayaan investigates the possibilities of human-plant communication in Plant Data, an exhibition at the Galeria da Biodiversidade, Centro Ciência Viva, in Porto’s Botanical garden. After visiting the show, writer and curator Alice Bonnot discusses here the urgent lessons that can be gleaned from it in the current climate crisis.
By Katie White
Inspired by ikebana, the Japanese art of flower arrangement, Ann Shelton's photographs subtly recall both ancient and contemporary female archetypes and the subversive histories of natural medicine - a sharp reminder of our forgotten affinities with nature in the current moment of climate crisis and the ongoing politicisation of female bodies.
By Henry Babbage
In (working title) at gr_und project space in Berlin, Frankfurt-based New Zealand artist Alex Chalmers explores how the circulation of commodities shape our thresholds of political implication, drawing our attention to the global economy's reliance on an interdependent network of shipping and delivery services, and our own alienation as consumers from the labour that creates our goods.
By Jungah Lee
A look at Yona Lee's site-specific work En Route Home at the 2020 Busan Biennale, its references to migration, the concept of 'home', and our new and developing relationships towards stability and roots in the era of globalisation.
By Lance Pearce
Xin Cheng's Seeing Like a Forest, made during her study at HFBK - University Of Fine Arts Hamburg from 2017-2019, focuses on issues such as sustainability, communities, and resourcefulness. Artist and writer Lance Pearce discusses these themes and their relevance to a world in the midst of a pandemic.
By Millie Riddell
What a Genderful World, the current exhibition at Amsterdam's Tropenmuseum, focuses on gender in the modern world and features Aotearoa artist Yuki Kihara; the next representative for New Zealand at the Venice Biennale. Writer Millie Riddell explores how the works presented function within the anthropological lens used in this exhibition and the balance between the genuine discussions of gender and the corporate and colonial undertones of the presentation.
By Maya Wilson-Sanchez
Presented earlier this year at Oakville Galleries in Canada, Shannon Te Ao's two-channel video and sound installation Ka mua, ka muri recently opened at Remai Modern, Saskatoon. In this part essay, part dialogue, writer Maya Wilson-Sanchez examines Te Ao's new project, and meditates on the relationships between indigenous populations in colonised nations.
By Zoe Crook
A review of Invisible: a collaborative exhibition between the Detroit Cranbrook Academy of Art, Wellington’s Massey University and the Wrocław Academy of Art and Design. Held at BWA Gallery in Wrocław, Poland, in February 2020, the second iteration of Invisible includes New Zealand artists Kerry Ann-Lee, Simon Eastwood and Lisa Munnelly, Lee Jensen, Angela Kilford, and Jason O’Hara.
By Jon Bywater
The 22nd Biennale of Sydney opened on 14 March 2020 and unfortunately had to close its doors only nine days later due to Covid-19. Prior to its closing, writer Jon Bywater managed to visit NIRIN, looking in particular at participating artists from Aotearoa including Emily Karaka, Elisapeta Heta & John Miller, Lisa Reihana, Kulimoe’anga ‘Stone’ Maka, and FAFSWAG.
By Ysabelle Cheung
The second publication from our special series focusing on the Asia region, looks to Hong Kong gallery Para Site, and its exhibition Koloa: Women, Art, and Technology. The exhibition centres on koloa, or customary women’s arts in Tonga, and features three artists from New Zealand: Tanya Edwards, Nikau Hindin, and Vaimaila Urale.
By Sharmini Aphrodite
In the first essay in our new series focusing on New Zealand arts activity in the Asia region, writer Sharmini Aphrodite reviews André Hemer's show, Images Cast by the Sun, at Yavuz Gallery in Singapore in 2019. Finding parallels between the paintings location in Singapore and their creation in Vienna, Aphrodite articulates their visceral qualities, and ability to transcend materiality.
By Stefanie Bräuer
Art Historian Stefanie Bräuer takes us through Museum Tinguely’s recent comprehensive exhibition of New Zealand artist Len Lye, exploring Lye’s international life, his move from film to kinetic sculptures and the relationship between the museum's namesake, fellow kinetic sculptor Jean Tinguely.
By Roseanne Bartley
A look at Handshake, a project dedicated to developing emerging New Zealand jewellers nationally and internationally, and their recent exchange with Coda Museum in the Netherlands. Participating jewellers from Aotearoa include Neke Moa, Vivien Atkinson, Sarah Read, Becky Bliss, Vanessa Arthur, Sarah Walker-Holt, Sandra Schmid, Nadene Carr, Caroline Thomas, Brendon Monson, Nik Hanton, and Kelly McDonald.
By Millie Riddell
The 16th Istanbul Biennial, titled The Seventh Continent, had a thematic focus on the large garbage patch currently occupying 3.4 million square kilometres of ocean, near Hawaii and Japan. Despite focusing on this area, Pacific artists were not present at the Biennial. Writer Millie Riddell explores the omission of Pacific artists, and what it means to not address or include the people most affected by environmental pollution and climate change.
By Tania Willard
Co-curated by Lana Lopesi, the exhibition Transits and Returns at Vancouver Art Gallery in Canada presents the work of 21 Indigenous artists from Northern America and the Pacific, and includes Aotearoa artists BC Collective, Louisa Afoa, Ahilapalapa Rands, and Edith Amituanai. In this essay, Indigenous Canadian artist and curator Tania Willard contextualises the work within a wider art history and personal history.
By Grace Lai
New Zealand jeweller Johanna Zellmer's practice focuses on national identity and the varying bureaucracy that can divide us. In this essay, Curator Grace Lai looks specifically at Zellmer's recent three-month residency in Gothenburg, Sweden, and her exhibition of crafted and altered coins which acted as a vehicle to comment on the current political climate.
By Kari Schmidt
A look at artist Matthew Galloway's residency at Cripta 747 in Turin, Italy, and the resulting exhibition The Factory and its Memories, which concentrates on the now defunct Nebiolo factory building, whose history is engrained in Italian graphic design and typography, reflecting Galloway’s own background as a graphic designer.
By Rosa Gubay
Oliver Perkins and Patrick Lundberg’s recent show On Emptiness at FOLD Gallery in London presented a conversation between the two artists' work, focusing on their object-centric painting practice. Writer Rosa Gubay analyses their use of negative space and the varying forms it can take.
By Laura Preston
A look at a series of exhibitions by women artists held at Secession in Vienna, including by New Zealand artist Fiona Connor, who has been based in Los Angeles since 2011. Connor's show, #8, Closed for Installation, Sequence of Events, presented cast bronze pieces alongside architectural interruptions, and was shown in conjunction with German artist Nora Schultz and Palestinian-English artist Rosalind Nashashibi.
By Jari Niesner
In her recent exhibition Following the Rubber Trails, at Frappant Galerie in Hamburg, Germany, Xin Cheng addresses the politics, history and philosophy of rubber, in its varying forms. Writer Jari Nieser explores the artist's performance, film and installation.
By Leah Reynolds
London-based artist Sriwhana Spong has been exhibiting widely throughout the UK in 2019. In this essay, writer Leah Reynolds reviews Spong’s recent exhibition Ida-Ida at Spike Island in Bristol, considering the key, interrelating ideas of her work, and Spong’s use of a variety of mediums.
By Pauline de Souza
Eleven years in the making, this is the first publication of its kind; a collection of 14 short stories from fa'afafine, or transgender and queer Samoans, focusing on their individual experiences in historic and modern times. Edited by artists Dan Taulapapa McMullin and Yuki Kihara, and published by Little Island Press in October 2018.
By Jessica Douglas
In the wake of recent discussions of London-based Francis Upritchard's work, Jessica Douglas views the exhibition Wetwang Slack, on now at the Barbican Centre in London, through the aesthetic quality and craftsmanship of Upritchard's work, alongside the wider consequences of her practice.
By David Lillington
HUM commissioned David Lillington to review Amanda Newall's recent project at Exposed Arts Projects in London, which occupies an old Jaguar car dealership. Newall's site-specific response, called Hotel Jaguar, encompasses an eclectic range of works and collaborations with other artists, on topics ranging from Jaguar and Brexit; Trump and witches; social dreaming and murders.
By Marie de Brugerolle
Dane Mitchell's exhibition OTIUM #3 at the Institut d'art contemporain - Villeurbanne in France, was an invitation to produce and exhibit works related to the dimensions of time and space, as part of an ongoing prospective series of exhibitions linked to 'métaphysiques cosmomorphes', a term taken from Pierre Montebello's philosophical research. French art historian and curator Marie de Brugerolle explores Mitchell's work within this context and his wider practice.
By Chloe Geoghegan
I can't nail the days down is Brooklyn-based Kate Newby's first Austrian solo exhibition, presented at Kunsthalle Wien in Vienna in 2018. Based both inside and outside of the Kunsthalle, the work invited visitors to take a closer look at Newby's engagements with the context of exhibition.
By Hjalmar Falk
Maddie Leach's project The Grief Prophesy, created for the Gothenburg International Biennale for Contemporary Art (GIBCA) 2017, addresses the disturbing and intriguing circumstances surrounding an alleged Satanic murder, committed by members of a well-known Swedish black metal band. Swedish historian Hjalmar Falk discusses the work.
By Carter Imrie-Milne
Auckland-born Zac Langdon-Pole's recent accolades include the Charlotte Prinz Scholarship in Darmstadt, Germany, being shortlisted for the BMW Art Journey Prize, and being one of the prestigious ARS VIVA prize recipients. Carter Imrie-Milne explores the artist's most recent series of objects and experiences featured in his presentation of the ARS VIVA at S.M.A.K. in Ghent, Belgium.