SEPTEMBER – DECEMBER 2001
TOYO ITO: BLURRING ARCHITECTURE
21 September—2 December 2001
Blurring Architecture presents work by revolutionary Japanese architect Toyo Ito who since the mid-1970s has become one
of the world’s most innovative and influential architects.
Ito is known for creating extreme concept buildings, in which he seeks to fuse the physical and virtual worlds. For Ito,
the human body now exists on two levels: our primitive, physical body seeks the beautiful light and fresh breeze found
in nature, while our new virtual body responds to the electronic environment seeking information. It is through these
dual bodies that we connect to architecture and the city.
Curator Andrew Barrie, a New Zealand designer and architect who is currently a scholar at the University of Tokyo, has
selected Toyo Ito’s latest project the Sendai Mediatheque, Japan, as a vehicle for presenting Ito’s architectural
genius. Completed in 2001, this building presents a radically new type of structure made up of just three types of
elements – floor plates, structural ‘tubes’ and a skin. This has resulted in an open, free-flowing space and
airy,filigreed structure – an architecture suited to our electronic, image-oriented culture.
Using new technology to create and present the work, this exhibition offers an exciting opportunity for the New Zealand
public to become immersed in the vision of Toyo Ito, as gallery audiences have done in similar exhibitions staged in the
UK, America and throughout Europe. Alongside models and plans, animated computer graphics and huge video-installations
covering the gallery walls will offer a fascinating insight into Ito’s work on two levels: both the physical
construction site and the architect’s creativity at his computer screen.
Mr Ito will open the exhibition in Auckland. A lecture tour has been organised by the New Zealand Institute of
Architects and Mr Ito will deliver a public lecture in both Auckland (8 August, Bruce Mason Centre, Takapuna) and
Wellington (9 August, Park Royal).
The Toyo Ito: Blurring Architecture exhibition and lecture series is a joint project by Artspace, City Gallery
Wellington and New Zealand Institute of Architects, with major support from Hardies. Generous support from Creative New
Zealand, Asia 2000 and Montana.
BEHIND THE CURTAIN-PHOTOGRAPHS OF THE SEX INDUSTRY BY ANS WESTRA
21 September-28 October 2001
Ans Westra is one of New Zealand’s most significant documentary photographers whose work was brought into the public eye
in 1964 with the Department of Education’s publication Washday at the Pa in which Westra photographed an East Coast
Maori family living in rural poverty. Since then she has continued to explore aspects of New Zealand society which many
people would prefer to ignore.
The series of 38 black and white photographs depict sex workers in massage parlours, strip-clubs and a brothel as the
women wait for clients, dress, socialise or strip. A challenging exploration into the daily lives of these women, Behind
the Curtain does not rely on nudity or the depiction of sex acts to provoke a quick response. Rather as Westra puts it,
the series shows us ‘the ordinariness of much that goes on behind the curtain. The women told me many stories while I
photographed, mostly about survival … Perhaps the photographs will allow you to get to know them a little, as I was
Behind the Curtain is organised and toured by the Manawatu Art Gallery.
TECHNO MAORI: MAORI ART IN THE DIGITAL AGE
City Gallery Wellington and Pataka Porirua Museum of Arts and Cultures, Wellington, New Zealand
September 28 – December 2 2001
The effect of digital technology on contemporary art practise has been explored by at least two major international art
museums (the Whitney and San Francisco Modern) this year. Far away from the art world’s physical epicentres in Aotearoa
New Zealand, the subject is being explored specifically in relation to the country’s Maori artists, examining how
indigenous identity continues to be expressed in an increasingly digitised and globalised cultural setting.
Techno Maori - Maori Art in the Digital Age brings together work by a selection of contemporary Maori artists,
expressing the diverse ways in which they are utilising or inspired by digital technology in their use of traditional,
modern and contemporary media.
City Gallery Wellington and Pataka Porirua Museum of Arts and Cultures will work in partnership, presenting the
exhibition concurrently at the two venues. A CD-ROM will act as shared third ‘virtual’ exhibition space binding together
the two physical spaces of the exhibition.
A key component of this exhibition is considering how new ideas in Maori art relate to, extend or originate in custom
“Just as, when European technology and materials first arrived in Aotearoa, our ancestors embraced and acculturated
them,” says guest co-curator Jonathan Mané-Wheoki, “just as their descendants embraced and acculturated the artforms,
materials and techniques of western modernism; so a new generation of Maori artists is utilising digital media.”
The work of many of these artists also suggests that, while digital connections have opened up their art on new
fundamental levels to international influences, at the same time those influences are reaffirming their physical
connection to the land in Aotearoa. These artists are both global roamers and Tangata Whenua.
Included are artists with rising international reputations, including Berlin-based Peter Robinson, who, together with
tribal compatriot Jacqueline Fraser is currently representing New Zealand at the Venice Biennale, and Michael
Parekowhai, whose celebrated installation 10 Guitars will be shown at The Andy Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh as part of
Popular CultureS (October 6 – February 9 2002). Well known artists will be joined by others whose reputations are just
starting to be established.
The exhibition will encompass a wide range of media: painting, sculpture, installation, video, performance, photography
etc. In keeping with the exhibition’s theme, equal curatorial status will be given to work presented through CD-ROM,
video walls, film screenings and performance events. The exhibition’s public programme will also be a key extension of
the exhibition’s concerns, exploring how other Maori artists are currently utilising and being influenced by digital
Some work will be provided in purely digital form, be it video work in the gallery space or work on CD-ROM. However, the
exhibition will also challenge assumptions that the meeting of art and technology will, by necessity, always involve
computers, video monitors or the use of other new media in the final presentation of the work.
The exhibition will be, by turns, serene and profoundly silent and busy and noisy. In every respect it will create a
sense of wonder which amplifies what many viewers are bound to ask themselves, ‘Is this really Maori art?
Techno Maori: Maori Art in the Digital Age is a partnership project between City Gallery Wellington and Pataka Porirua
Museum of Arts and Cultures. Guest co-curators Jonathan Mané-Wheoki and Dr Deidre Brown. Generously sponsored by
Creative New Zealand.
2 November 2001-10 February 2002
Aboriginal artist Tracey Moffatt is considered by many in the art world to be Australia’s hottest artist. Her
photographs and films are regularly exhibited in galleries throughout Australia, Europe and the United States. The City
Gallery breaks new ground by staging the first major showing of her work in New Zealand; a survey of her films and
Moffatt's work is inspired by a diverse range of subjects including racism, Victorian pornography and Mad Max movies.
She is a celebrated film-maker - her 1993 feature film was the first to be directed by an Australian Aboriginal and was
her second film to accord official selection at the prestigious Cannes Film Festival. Moffat’s photographs are also
imbued with a filmic quality in which subjects appear like characters in movies.
30 November 2001—10 February 2002
This exhibition continues the City Gallery’s commitment to supporting important mid-career artists. John Drawbridge has
been a leading figure in New Zealand printmaking since his return from study in England and Europe in the mid-1960s. He
has also produced some of the best-known public murals in this country—major examples being sited in the Beehive, the
National Archives, Radio New Zealand House and the National Library. His work as a painter is less known but certainly
as impressive. Melding influences from his time abroad with the physical environment of Island Bay, Wellington—where he
has lived since 1965—he has produced an immense body of work.
Curated by the City Gallery’s Greg O’Brien, Drawbridge is the first exhibition to present this artist's paintings and
prints on a major scale. It features 20 major oil paintings and over 50 etchings, watercolours and works on paper.
Investigations are underway to include works by European Masters such as Picasso and Malevich which have inspired
Drawbridge’s artistic practice.
360 Programme at Michael Hirschfeld Gallery
187 PHOTOGRAPHS BY WAYNE YOULE
19 July – 19 August 2001
Emerging artist Wayne Youle (Ngati Whakaeke, Nga Puhi) tests the limits of acceptable visual culture with this
provocative photographic project. A continuous frieze of approximately 185 small-scale photographs hugging gallery walls
asks us to get up close to images which may offend some viewers, but be of little concern to others. With a particular
emphasis on racial issues, Rated plays out the subjectivity involved in interpreting and responding to the images
surrounding us in books and magazines, exhibitions and the Internet. (This exhibition carries a R.18 rating).
THE PAINTINGS AND PRINTS OF JULIET PETER
24 August – 23 September 2001
‘We are outdoor people’ Juliet Peter says, describing her need for gardens, landscapes, vistas, park benches. Peter’s
love of the outdoors and its prominence in her vision permeates her work—from the watercolours of the 1940s to later
prints and paintings focusing on the bush surrounding her Ngaio home and the changing nature of Wellington city and
suburbs. Curated by Mary-Jane Duffy, Outdoor People is a timely celebration of Juliet Peter’s work, and is presented to
coincide with the exhibition Rita Angus: ‘live to paint and paint to live’. Juliet Peter and Rita Angus met at Art
School and formed a lasting friendship, sketching the Bolton Street Cemetery together in the late 1960s before its
partial relocation and destruction.
GALLERY SEVEN (10,000 METRES)
28 September – 28 October 2001
With this site-specific installation Maddie Leach continues her investigation into spaces which house idleness, moments
of leisure which are imbued with silence and stillness. Gallery Seven explores the activity of ice-skating,
incorporating life-size video projections of a lone circling ice-skater and sealing off the gallery space to evoke an
atmosphere of structured idleness. The installation investigates the merging of the sporting and the artistic; the
contemplative and the performative; the physical and the cerebral.
2 November – 2 December 2001
Curated by the City Gallery’s Rebecca Wilson, this exhibition presents recent work by emerging artists. Presented at the
time of the Michael Hirschfeld Gallery’s two-year anniversary, it continues the Gallery’s commitment to supporting the
work of younger Wellington artists.
7 December 2001 – 13 January 2002
Mark Gardiner is 48, lives in Newtown and is a self-taught artist. His work explores aspects of the urban environment
and its inhabitants. His subjects are as various as sunbathers on Freyberg beach, the bus crowd in Courtenay Place and
the busy traffic of children through the inner city suburbs. He also paints religious works, carrying on the tradition
of 'alternative' religious art epitomised by Paul Gauguin, Ben Shahn, Howard Finster and Colin McCahon. This exhibition
at the Hirschfeld Gallery will be the first solo exhibition by this ardently independent painter.
City Gallery Wellington is open 10am-5pm daily (except Christmas Day). Admission free. Information line: 04 801 3952.