Archive for the ‘COLLABORATORS’ Category

“The Last Days of Sumer” (Vivid on A4, 1998, in the collection of Alexander Greenhough)

Monday, December 21st, 1998


The very first piece of ‘serious’ visual art I ever did, after reading a book of interviews with Mark Rothko and Barnett Newman on a bright summer’s day while living at a University flat on Fairlie Terrace in Wellington. I did another piece in blue vivid on the same day, which has subsequently been lost.

“When painters feel the need to make a shift toward self-discovery, they turn to black and white for a time.” (Barnett Newman)

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“Wayfarer Gallery” (c. 1999, photographed by Alex Greenhough)

Wednesday, December 29th, 1999

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Top, left: Some of my early photocopy works fixed to a large board for inspection. Top, middle: A monochromatic painting, using photocopy ink (in the collection of Erica Lowe). Top, right: An assemblage, possibly made with Tim Wyborn.

Bottom, left: Painting by Mark Whyte (top) and a readymade using styrofoam packaging (bottom). Bottom, right: The remnants of a performance by then Wellington artist Collette [last name unknown].

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“Wireless” (Folk Album, 2003)

Monday, December 15th, 2003

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Recorded live to air on Massey University’s Munt FM in 2003 by ‘The Deprogrammers’ (Sam and Smiley Stephens). Featuring Robyn Kenealy’s lovely voice on Lamplight. Everything else played and sung by Dick Whyte and his Golden Guitar. Released on CD by Postmoderncore Records (where you can also listen to it, or download it for free). Also available via the Internet Archive.

“Richard (Dick) Whyte comes from New-Zealand, as does the excellent label Postmoderncore (which is one of the first labels in the world to have adopted a license of free diffusion). He is a songwriter of very first order, who plays songs on a wobbly guitar, and sings with a sincere voice, expression and heart. I spent this sleepless white night listening to the songs off his CDR Wireless recorded live on the radio. Let’s go again for a track which excites my brain and tears the hairs off my beard: ‘When you Decide’ (sounds country-folk à la Ryan Adams).” (Dana Hilliot, Songs to the Sirens, translated from the original French)

“A talented folk and country performer who has been performing his ever increasing song book of originals and favourite songs for some years. His powerful and flexible voice and keen sensibilities on the guitar make him always worth seeing.” (Sam Stephens, Postmodern Records website)

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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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“Stories and Songs” (Folk Album, 2005)

Friday, December 9th, 2005

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Country/folk album recorded at various times and places between 2002 and 2005. Robyn E. Kenealy sings on The King and Maybelle. Dean Brown (a.k.a. Lil’ Skull) produced You Be Welcome and Way Over Yonder, and played percussion on Way Over Yonder. Rick Jensen recorded Dirty Old Townes live in his lounge. Everything else played and written by Dick Whyte and his Golden Guitar. Includes tributes to both Townes van Zandt and John Fahey. Download the full album for free (in flac or high quality mp3) from Bandcamp.

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“Roddy McDowall Meets Rene Descartes [c. 1640]” (Dick Whyte and Robyn E. Kenealy, 2006)

Monday, December 11th, 2006

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Written by Dick Whyte, illustrated by Robyn Kenealy (author of the wonderful comic biography Roddy’s Film Companion). Part of a series of comics in which Roddy McDowall meets various philosophers. First published in the Wellington comics anthology Bristle #9 (edited by Brent Willis).

“Robyn E. Kenealy and Dick Whyte’s series of riffs on imagined meetings between various philosophers and cheerfully irreverent actor Roddy McDowall are particularly effective.” (Grant Buist, review of Bristle #9)

“I will suppose, then, that everything I see is fictitious. I will believe that my memory tells me nothing but lies. I have no senses. Body, shape, extension, movement and place are illusions. So what remains true? Perhaps just the one fact that nothing is certain!” (Rene Descartes, Meditations on First Philosophy)

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“Roddy McDowall Meets Thales [c. 585 B.C.]” (Dick Whyte and Robyn E. Kenealy, 2006)

Saturday, December 16th, 2006

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Written by Dick Whyte, illustrated by Robyn Kenealy (author of the wonderful comic biography Roddy’s Film Companion). Part of a series of comics in which Roddy McDowall meets various philosophers. First published in Wellington comics anthology Bristle #9 (edited by Brent Willis).

“Most of the first philosophers thought that principles in the form of matter were the only principles of all things. For they say that the element and first principle of the things that exist is that from which they all are and from which they first come into being… But as to the number and form of this sort of principle, they do not all agree. Thales, the founder of this kind of philosophy, says that it is water… He perhaps came to acquire this belief from seeing that the nourishment of everything is moist and that heat itself comes from this.” (Aristotle, Metaphysics)

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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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“Roddy McDowall Meets Gottfried Leibniz [c. 1710]” (Dick Whyte and Robyn Kenealy, 2006)

Monday, December 25th, 2006

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Written by Dick Whyte, illustrated by Robyn Kenealy (author of the wonderful comic biography Roddy’s Film Companion). Part of a series of comics in which Roddy McDowall meets various philosophers. First published in Wellington comics anthology Bristle #9 (edited by Brent Willis).

“I am convinced that the unwritten knowledge scattered among people of different callings surpasses in quantity and in importance anything we find in books, and that the greater part of our wealth has yet to be recorded.” (Gottfried Leibniz)

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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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