Artspace

Proscenium

Andrew Drummond

CITYGROUP, Andrew Drummond, Ceal Foyer, Callum Morton, Imants Tillers

9 June - 4 July 1998

Curated by Simon Rees


Arching over the theatre's stage and containing its curtain, the proscenium frames the action, separating the actors from the audience. Arch and curtain are devices which commence, enclose, and curtail the action, indicating when, where, and even how to look. Demarking space for the purpose of looking, the proscenium works like a picture frame. Often gilded, it reminds us to value the spectacle unfolding within its borders. It is a convention—at once a physical frame and a piece of language. Curator Simon Rees explains, 'I've used the metaphor of the proscenium to draw attention to the way that architecture structures our experience as spectators of art in the same way as it surrounds a stage. Walking through the pillars at Auckland Museum, or the door of an art gallery, has the same effect as the curtain rising at the theatre—we look at the objects contained inside these institutions in a specific way.'

 

That said, Rees' selection is oblique. Instead of opting for the most obvious examples, he goes for the most subtle. CITYGROUP reframes two existing videos as a new installation. One of the tapes, Flight Crowds, more than ten years old, offers extreme close-ups of eyes, as if under threat. The other, a recent tape, shows mugshots of a young man taken at regular intervals growing up, accompanied by a soundtrack of a Catholic rosary. Andrew Drummond's For Digestion is a spagnum-moss churning kinetic sculpture, suspended from the ceiling—a deus ex machina. British artist Ceal Floyer fools the eye, projecting a band of light on the bootom of a door, as if light were coming from behind. It's a classic image from horror films—WHAT IS BEHIND THE DOOR? Equally mimetic, Callum Morton's The Heights is a apartment balcony attached to the gallery wall. With lurid cheap torn synthetic curtains visible through its windows, this work brings class into the discussion. Finally, Imants Tillers shows a canvasboard painting drawing on McCahon's heroic Victory Over Death 2, Arakawa, and Borofsky; accompanied by one of his stacked canvasboard works.