Archive for the ‘Sculpture & Readymade’ Category

“Untitled Triptych [For Francis Bacon]” (Readymade, 2001)

Tuesday, December 18th, 2001

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“Images also help me find and realise ideas. I look at hundreds of very different, contrasting images and I pinch details from them, rather like people who eat from other people’s plates.” (Francis Bacon)

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“Stool Sample” (Readymade, 2001)

Thursday, December 20th, 2001

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“A point that I want very much to establish is that the choice of these ‘readymades’ was never dictated by aesthetic delectation. The choice was based on a reaction of visual indifference with at the same time a total absence of good or bad taste in fact a complete anaesthesia. One important characteristic was the short sentence which I occasionally inscribed on the ‘readymade.’ That sentence instead of describing the object like a title was meant to carry the mind of the spectator towards other regions more verbal. Sometimes I would add a graphic detail of presentation which, in order to satisfy my craving for alliterations, would be called ‘readymade aided.’ At another time, wanted to expose the basic anatomy between art and ‘readymades,’ I imagined a reciprocal readymade: use a Rembrandt as an ironing board! I realized very soon the danger of repeating indiscriminately this form of expression and decided to limit the productions of ‘readymades’ to a small number yearly. I was aware at that time, that for the spectator even more than for the artist, art is a habit forming drug and I wanted to protect my ‘readymades’ against such a contamination. Another aspect of the ‘readymade’ is its lack of uniqueness. The replica of the ‘readymade’ delivering the same message. In fact nearly every one of the ‘readymades’ existing today is not original in the conventional sense.” (Marcel Duchamp)

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“Wayfarer Gallery Presents: The Successful Organisation of Space for the Modern Artist, after Kim Patton’s ‘Time Will Break the World'” (Artspace, Auckland, 2004, curated by Tao Wells)

Friday, December 17th, 2004

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When Tao Wells was asked to take part in The Bed You Lie In, an exhibition “in Artspace’s traditional emerging artists slot,” he asked 8 of his friends (Kaleb Bennet, Ryan Chadfield, Matthew Couper, Shay Launder, Genevieve Packer, Terry Urbahn, Wendyhouse and myself) to create “better” versions of the 8 other works in the show (by Daniel du Bern, Louise Tullett, New Artist, Rachael Grant, Finn Ferrier, Marnie Slater, Eve Armstrong and Kim Paton) and called it Winning Teacher (a show within a show). Wells then “asked the curator to rank the works in the order of her preference. This was apparently a difficult proposition for curator Tessa Giblin, who opted to position the works in alphabetical order, rather than to show favouritism for one work over another. I guess Wells was attempting to scratch below the surface of Giblin’s curatorial politics to see what was underneath, perhaps looking for a kernel of connoisseurship, or something.” (Dan Arps, Office Gossip Bastard Venting: An Interview With Tao Wells)

“The idea was simple enough: create a template/context/parameter/structure that would be seen negatively and take heat for it… to reflect some ugly reality inherent to gallery culture and then pit this against the [artworks’ attempt at] trying to communicate with each other (which is a positive generally, but hell) despite the environment in which it is received and placed. I think the relation between [their] works [and] mine is exciting and unstable; full of promise; much more interesting than the actual works; but mostly available only to those who enjoy and speak formal art qualities. It was a sucker punch, where when I got hit I would lie on the floor and collect sympathy, which worked, only (surprise!) the gallery didn’t get it, didn’t want to be hit, fought me on every little thing and ultimately made me compromise the work’s integrity to sooth their version of what I should be doing, as if they were a competing artist which is exactly how they behaved.” (Tao Wells)

My work consisted of 31 artworks by 31 different artists, from my personal art collection, packed into a small leather suitcase (a show within a show within a show). The work Tao asked me to remake/respond to was Kim Paton’s Time Will Break The World. Paton’s work (which she had produced once before in Wellington) consisted of “a perfectly gibed and painted wall” closing off the main space of the gallery, leaving only “a small passage around the perimeter of the room for people to negotiate.” (Artspace online catalogue)

“Richard Whyte has introduced his own new gallery space full of art works, called Wayfarer Gallery Presents, all inside a small suitcase. With 31 works, Whyte has in turn sublet Wells’ space to give a new insight (to a new artist) into the new gallery that Paton herself has created within Artspace. This together with… Wells’ other tenants, suggests a heterotopic locale that’s neither here nor there, but where we are and where we are not, while reflecting on the cultural capital given to the business of newness in The Bed You Lie In.” (Mark Harvey, “Tao Wells” in The Bed You Lie In, Artspace print catalogue, p39-40)

“Other works set out to criticise the art world – its galleries, its exhibitions, its difficulties and what is seen as its tired old cliches. Finn Ferrier has little bits of demolished galleries in plastic bags. Instead of a postcard you can take away a lump of concrete. Kim Paton throws up barriers between people and the gallery by crowding them against the wall and giving them nothing to see… And so it goes on – one smart, clever idea after another, with most of the young artists biting down hard on the hand that might feed them. Most gross of all is an installation by Tao Wells that references a whole lot of other artists by recreating bits of their work. It also comments on them by putting something to rot in an old filing cabinet so the whole gallery stinks, ha, ha. The gallery as rubbish dump.” (T.J. McNamara, The Galleries: Dutch Courage Goes Down A Real Treat, NZ Herald)

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“Adams Terrace” (Rearrangement, 2006)

Tuesday, December 19th, 2006

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“An active line on a walk, moving freely, without goal. A walk for a walk’s sake.” (Paul Klee, Pedagogical Sketchbook)

Many thanks to Alex Greenhough. Instructions for a rearrangement: Take any objects in a social space and rearrange them, in order to alter the perception of that space for subsequent viewers. A marker of human existence. A trace of consciousness. This rearrangement was constructed on Adams Terrace in 2006.

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“But…” (Rearrangement, 2008, photographed by Tao Wells)

Tuesday, December 2nd, 2008

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“1998… we were walking along together and moved some stones on a path at Victoria University. I never did finish writing my notes towards a definition…” (Alexander Greenhough, 2010)

Instructions for a rearrangement: Take any objects in a social space and rearrange them, in order to alter the perception of that space for subsequent viewers. A marker of human existence. A trace of consciousness. I think this “rearrangement” took place somewhere near ‘The Mill’ on Victoria Street in Wellington, New Zealand. Thanks to Tao Wells for being there to capture it.

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“Untitled Virtual Light Sculpture” (Google Maps, 2009)

Saturday, December 5th, 2009

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Made after talking with Tao Wells about Paul Sheerbart; “The surface of the Earth would change greatly if brick architecture were everywhere displaced by glass architecture. It would be as though the Earth clad itself in jewelery of brilliants and enamel. The splendor is absolutely unimaginable. And we should then have more exquisite things than the gardens of the Arabian Nights. Then we should have a paradise on Earth and would not need to gaze longingly at the paradise in the sky.” (Paul Scheerbart, Glass Architecture)

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“Stolen Land” (NZ Parliament/Thistle Hall, 2011)

Saturday, August 13th, 2011

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Conceptual/sculptural piece exhibited in two parts: 1) the confiscation of a patch of land from Parliament grounds, and 2) this piece of land exhibited as part of The Briefcase Project (group show, curated by Richard Bartlett, Thistle Hall, 8-14 August). 19 artists were featured in the show, including Hannah Salmon, Ben Knight, Lance Ravenswood, Tui Harrington and Turrence Turner (among others).

“My favourite pieces are the visual discourse on the concept of “stolen land” and a beautiful piece of sound design, delivered on a very old school reel machine.” (Martyn Pepperell, Word on the Street)

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COLLABORATION: “Rearrangements with Samin Son and Dick Whyte” (Pyramid Club, 2014)

Sunday, February 16th, 2014

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Pyramid Club Opening Night (2014)

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Samin Son on the phone (Pyramid Club, 2014)

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Fit, Strong Confident (Pyramid Club, 2014)

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Dick Whyte - Rearrangement #1 (Pyramid Club, 2014)

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Samin Son - Rearrangement #2 (Pyramid Club, 2014)

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Samin Son - Rearrangement #3 (Pyramid Club, 2014)

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Dick Whyte - Rearrangement #4 (Pyramid Club, 2014)

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Dick Whyte and Samin Son - Rearrangement #5 (Pyramid Club, 2014)

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“The ideas need not be complex. Most ideas that are successful are ludicrously simple. Successful ideas generally have the appearance of simplicity because they seem inevitable.” (Sol LeWitt, Paragraphs On Conceptual Art)

While at the grand opening of Wellington’s newest underground art and music venue The Pyramid Club, Samin Son and myself took some time out to create a few temporary sculptures upstairs, on our way to the toilets. A bunch of great bands played (Ducklingmonster, AudioTears, Warwick and the Wankers, Ooonaverse) and a damn good night was had by all. With so many venues closing in Wellington at the moment, this is exactly what we needed. Check it out people – and make sure to support future Pyramid Club events! See more rearrangements.

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