Reviews

Writing

They Call Me The Believer

By Habib William Kherbek

21.09.2021

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. 

Writing

On Louise Stevenson's 'Someplace Else'

By Chris Holdaway

24.08.2021

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.

Writing

Plant Data

By Alice Bonnot

22.07.2021

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.

Writing

Ann Shelton’s Strange Flowers Set the Stage

By Katie White

14.04.2021

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.

Writing

Living Currency

By Henry Babbage

25.03.2021

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. 

Writing

Looking for Home

By Jungah Lee

13.01.2021

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.

Writing

Social Imagination

By Lance Pearce

20.11.2020

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.

Writing

Playing with Gender at the Tropenmuseum

By Millie Riddell

08.10.2020

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.

Writing

Time and Water

By Maya Wilson-Sanchez

03.09.2020

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.

Writing

Odysseus escapes the cyclops

By Zoe Crook

10.06.2020

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.

Writing

The Near Side

By Jon Bywater

13.05.2020

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.

Writing

Resistance through Koloa

By Ysabelle Cheung

06.04.2020

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.

Writing

Between Light and Memory

By Sharmini Aphrodite

23.03.2020

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.

Writing

Stirring Motion

By Stefanie Bräuer

20.02.2020

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.

Writing

Handshake 5: In Dialogue

By Roseanne Bartley

22.01.2020

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.

Writing

Moana, Unimagined

By Millie Riddell

08.01.2020

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.

Writing

What's for - Decolonial - Dinner?

By Tania Willard

18.12.2019

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.

 

Writing

A Question of Identity

By Grace Lai

08.11.2019

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.

Writing

The Factory and its Memories

By Kari Schmidt

16.10.2019

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.

Writing

On Emptiness

By Rosa Gubay

02.10.2019

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.

Writing

Something Different

By Laura Preston

05.09.2019

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. 

Writing

The Discreet Charm of Chance

By Jari Niesner

23.08.2019

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.  

Writing

Sriwhana Spong’s Ida-Ida

By Leah Reynolds

09.08.2019

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.

Writing

Samoan Queer Lives (2018)

By Pauline de Souza

04.03.2019

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. 

Writing

Push and Pull

By Jessica Douglas

25.10.2018

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.

Writing

Hotel Jaguar

By David Lillington

11.10.2018

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. 

Writing

Dane Mitchell: An Aesthetic Contagion

By Marie de Brugerolle

06.09.2018

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.

Writing

Kate Newby: I can’t nail the days down

By Chloe Geoghegan

14.08.2018

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.

Writing

Maddie Leach: The Grief Prophesy

By Hjalmar Falk

08.06.2018

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.

Writing

The Symbolic and Actual Order of Things

By Carter Imrie-Milne

25.05.2018

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.