Exhibition highlights 1986-1996



1996: Digital Bodies

Electronic Bodyscapes brings together New Zealand and overseas artists to examine the interfacing of art, digitial technologies, and the body. Orlan shows photos of her cosmetic surgery while Stelarc conects his body with the internet to produce Ping Body. The project incorporates Electronic Body Experience, a six hour multimedia event featuring artists rooted in rave culture. James Cunningham, Linda Dement (Australia), Graham Harwood (UK), Troy Innocent (Australia), Sean Kerr and Keri Whaiteri, Orlan (France), Seductor Productions, City Group, Terrence Handscomb, Vicki Kerr, Stelarc, Paul Swadel, Dennis Wilcox (Australia). Curated by Deborah Lawlor Dormer. [image: Stelarc]

Greg Wood

1995: Radio Art

Artspace commissions six artists to produce sound installations. The artists in the Fourth Window come from diverse backgrounds: classical composition, intermedia art, rave culture. Recordings produced for or derived from the installations are broadcast on national radio in New Zealand and Australia. Greg Wood takes the idea of radio art literally, treating a collection of radios as instruments for visitors to play, remixing their signals through a computer score. Chris Cree-Brown, Philip Dadson, Juliet Palmer, Greg Wood, Michael Hodgson, John Ioane.   [image: Greg Wood]

 Vicki Kerr

1994: N+1 Cultures

Science and art have long been placed in opposition: with science being cast as clinical, objective and impersonal, and art as the reverse. In N+1 Cultures four artists create works about science. Denise Kum becomes an industrial pharmicist, Ester Leigh a clinical microscopist, Giovanni Intra a biophysicist, and Vicki Kerr a prosthetic surgeon. Kerr's work is the hardest to find. She grafts a transparant plastic hip bone into one of the windows, through which can be glimpsed, as if by analogy, a mighty wharf crane. [image: Vicki Kerr]

1994: Polymorphous Perversity

In the mid-1990s censorship was a hot issue. In America, the culture wars were underway and were known here through much-publicised attempts to close down Andres Serrano and Robert Mapplethorpe shows. In New Zealand stronger censorship legislation is coming into force. Over 200 artists contribute to the pornography show, One Hundred and Fifty Ways of Loving. The exhibition has to be classified: R18. 

Fiona Pardington

1993: Public Address

For Changing Signs, seven artists create billboards which are installed at a busy Auckland intersection. Through the project the artists reach a huge lay public: estimated attendance twenty-one million. Many of the works express love / hate relationships with contemporary media culture and particularly the rhetoric of advertising. Fiona Pardington's bondage billboard preaches the benefits of practicing restraint. The billboard was in the intersection of Anzac Avenue and Beach Road, Auckland. Curated by Derrick Cherrie. Megan Jenkinson, Richard Killeen, Ralph Paine, Fiona Pardington, Michael Parekowhai, Merylyn Tweedie, Christine Webster. [image: Fiona Pardington]

David Tremlett

1992: The Artspace Drawings

British artist David Tremlett is constantly travelling the world creating site specific wall drawings. When he leaves a place, he takes something of it with him: drawings in his notebook refer to architectural forms in the spaces he has visited or worked. This compendium becomes the basis for his ongoing work, in which these dislocated forms enjoy an afterlife as ghosts of other places. [image: David Tremlett]

Michael Parekowhai

1990: A Cat Among the Pigeons

1990 is the sesquicentenial of the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi and New Zealand galleries are full of contemporary Maori art shows anxious to parade their Maoriness. Choice! by contrast presents a group of mostly younger Maori artists outside the contemporary Maori art scene and less concerned to argue their links with tradition. The accompanying broadsheet, written by curator George Hubbard and Robin Craw, argues on the inherant racism of prevailing prescriptions for authentic Maori art. Jacqueline Fraser, Rongotai Lomas, Barnard McIntyre, Michael Parekowhai, Diane Prince, Lisa Reihana, Darryl Thompson. [image: Michael Parekowhai]

Julian Dashper

1989: Taxi Driver

Disappointed by a lack of proposals for installations, Artspace commissions some for its project Occupied Zone. Julian Dashper has a signwriter to paint the word DRIVE in a fancy retro typeface, large and high on the big wall. The piece refers at once to his careerism and to his previous life as a taxi driver. Some speculate that Dashper is making an oblique reference to Colin McCahon, who, according to legend, got the idea of using speech bubble off a Rinso packet. Drive is an alternative brand of washing powder. [image: Julian Dashper]

Richard Killeen

1988: The Order of Things

Exhibits focuses on artists who base their works on museum displays and encyclopedia plates. Much of the work is concerned with how we grasp, or fail to grasp, the world by classifying and ordering it. A collection of scrupulously fake artefacts, Exhibits engages in a simultaneous critique and reverie of the museum. Curated by Robert Leonard and Priscilla Pitts. Laurence Aberhart, Andrew Drummond, Christine Hellyar, Megan Jenkinson, Richard Killeen, Barnard McIntyre, Julia Morison, Ruth Watson. Joint project with the National Art Gallery, Wellington. [image: Richard Killeen]

John Reynolds

1988: Eviction

Early in 1988 Artspace is forced out of Federal Street as the building is slated for demolition. In the Demolition Show, artists Derrick Cherrie, Julian Dashper, Lucy MacDonald, Fiona Pardington, Trevor Pye, John Reynolds take the opportunity of not having to clean up after themselves, working directly onto the walls. John Reynolds' Melancholy of a Street embodies the sense of impending dereliction. [image: John Reynolds]

Terrence Handscomb

1987: Sexy Signs

A timely show, Sex and Sign provides a critical context for new work addressing ideas about sexuality and language, much of it influenced by Continental theory. Combining arch typography, scribble, darkness and light, Terrence Handscomb's wilfully obscure and theoretically dense charts conjure up the rhetoric of paternal authority. Meanwhile, Merylyn Tweedie's inane typewritings sealed in gluggy resin—ironically titled Entering Commercial Distribution—proved positively hysterical. Curated by Wystan Curnow, with Terrence Handscomb, Julia Morison, Ralph Paine, Merylyn Tweedie, Christine Webster. [image: Terrence Handscomb]

Derrick Cherrie

1986: Body Buildings

In his first solo show, Derrick Cherrie installs painted plywood sculptures before huge backdrop drawings. Both drawings and sculpures combine generic figures with architectural elements to create hybrid body-buildings. The fleshy qualities of the body give way to the institutional lines of the built environment, to provoke psychological, sexual and political readings. [image: Derrick Cherrie]