New Artists Show 2009: Fresh Gallery Otara, Newcall, None
5 September - 10 October
Artspace’s annual new artist show is a highlight of the Auckland exhibition calendar. The new artist show acts as a showcase, and barometer, of emerging national talent. This year’s version sees Artspace evolving the selection process by actively working with three very different artist-led initiatives.
Artspace has invited Newcall, a central Auckland based gallery and studio program run by a collective of recent Elam graduates, Fresh Gallery Otara, a Manukau City Council initiative for contemporary Pacific art, and Dunedin’s long-running but difficult to define performance space, None.
Working with these organisations brings to the fore existing structures established to support emerging practices. In bringing together such a diffuse range of collaborators, Artspace hopes to disrupt the curatorial auteurship of previous years and render more visible the grass-roots organisations that build the contemporary art communities of tomorrow.
Given such benevolent tones it’s no surprise that all three collectives approach the invitation with more than a little insouciance. For instance, None is taking the opportunity to rejuvenate their own basement, off-loading their accumulated debris as a burden Artspace itself must bear, whilst Fresh offers a deceptively benign take on hair straightening that reveals larger cultural forces at play. Meanwhile, Newcall's repositioning of the new artist paradigm to include artists who have participated in previous years as well as international participants, makes plain the expanded platform this year’s exhibition operates within.
Matters 3 is produced as the third instalment in a diverse and diversifying publication project run by Newcall.