Archive for the ‘Robyn E. Kenealy’ Category

“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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“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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“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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“Rihanna – Black Like Me” (Digital Screencap, 2010, with Robyn Kenealy)

Wednesday, May 26th, 2010

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“Rest at pale evening… A tall slim tree… Night coming tenderly, black like me.” (Langston Hughes, Dream Variations)

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Unedited screencaps from the game “Rihanna Makeover” on Girl Games, one of the leading online gaming sites for young girls. Black Like Me is a collaboration with Robyn Kenealy, an artist currently working on a Roddy McDowall biography comic and a Battlestar Galactica fanfiction novel.

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“Rihanna – Dark Like Me” (Digital Screencap, 2010, with Robyn Kenealy)

Thursday, May 27th, 2010

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“To fling my arms wide in some place of the sun, to whirl and to dance till the white day is done. Then rest at cool evening beneath a tall tree, while night comes on gently, dark like me —” (Langston Hughes, Dream Variations)

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Unedited screencaps from the game “Rihanna Makeover” on Girl Games, one of the leading online gaming sites for young girls. Dark Like Me is a collaboration with Robyn Kenealy, an artist currently working on a Roddy McDowall biography comic and a Battlestar Galactica fanfiction novel.

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“Wayfarer Gallery Presents: A Festiva of Enjoyment” (Enjoy Gallery, Wellington, 2002)

Sunday, February 20th, 2011

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In December 2002 I was offered a three week show at Enjoy Gallery. In response to this I installed my entire lounge into the gallery, including chairs and couches, a desk, a stereo, bookshelves, my home computer, a coffee table, the Wayfarer Library (a collection of more than 500 books which operated as a library for a number of local artists which normally resided at my house), the Wayfarer Gallery (my personal art collection, including drawings, paintings, sculptures and photographs by local artists), a number of local self-published mini-comics, artist’s journals and workbooks and a collection of unreleased cassettes and CDs by a variety Wellington experimental musicians (many of them recorded in my lounge).

In addition to the installation there were performances every night including a punk rock evening (featuring The Smokers and Brother Love), a free jazz evening (featuring Rick Jensen and Jeff Henderson), a noise evening (featuring Nova Scotia and Antony Milton), a theatre evening (featuring plays by Harold Pinter and Samuel Beckett, directed by myself and performed by Colin Hodson and Diane McAllen), a performance-art evening (featuring Tao Wells and Rubber Banana) and a mini-film-festival (featuring films by Campbell Walker, Colin Hodson, Tim Wyborn, Alex Greenhough and Dick Whyte). I also slept in the gallery for the duration on a fold out couch. Unfortunately most of the documentation of the exhibition has been lost, although a few photos remain (thanks to the Enjoy Gallery archives).

Two years later I exhibited a reworked version of these ideas as part of the Tao Wells installation Winning Teacher (Art Space, 2004), titled Wayfarer Gallery Presents: The Successful Organisation of Space for the Modern Artist.

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“An Elvis Presley cloth adorns the doorway to the main gallery where snapshots, paintings, photos and workbooks festoon the space. Coffee tables, sofas and bookshelves contain Hemingway to Burroughs to a typing manual… The free jazz playing is great. It sounds like people improvising live. But the workbooks were, for me, the most interesting part of the exhibition. [Toon]’s particularly showed an aesthetic and poetic sensibility I enjoyed. One page is a list of clichés, another quotes from ‘portrait of the artist as a young man’, contrasted on another page against an ink drawing of ‘the way swedish people have sex’. I’ll say no more, take a look. Robyn Kenealy’s workbook was in a different style, with letters and notes from friends, and an obsession with images and quotes from Bob Dylan turning into an infatuation with Milla Jovavich.” (review by Emma Jean, read more)

Unfortunately the reviewer chose to focus on the artworks in the room and failed to engage with the installation as a relational performance. This was a common response to the show (by critics and curators). The focus was placed on individual artworks, as if I were simply the curator of the show, while the installation aspects and my role as a performer in the space were largely ignored.

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“Art, the closest function. Our closest concept to serendipity and truth, her lover, artifice. Art is our last ditch attempt at understanding perfection (cease the AESTHETIC) at battle with the great paradox, both called by name ARTIFICE. All construction. To see, at last, the human struggle as meaningless, as worthless. To strip the collective ego, the human god complex and see instead. Personal faith, accepting belief in the face of nothingness. Opening to serendipity, chance emotion. Upon rendering ourselves worthless the ideas of ego as comparable are useless. The ego becomes free to believe in ART.” (proposal excerpt)

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A semi-complete list of the artists who appeared in the Wayfarer Gallery: Andy Chappell, Rick Jensen, Tim Wyborn, Jaime Mellor, Michelle Jensen, Alexander Greenhough, Campbell Walker, Mark Whyte, Nia Robyn, Erica Lowe, Hamish Clayton, Toon, Smiley, Sam Stephens, Daniel Cleveland, Mardi Potter, Diane McAllen, Liz Kane, Rob Groat, Colin Hodson, Alistair Cuthill, Glory-Road Topham, Aaron Hilton, Steve Dean, Dean Brown, Dave Edwards, Tao Wells, Amber Johnson, Henry Feltham, Sarah Parton, Norman Levido, Mika, Dane Taylor, Michael Dennehy, Grace Russell, Louise Clifton, Atreus, Leo Prince, Campbell Kneale, Elric Kane, Robyn Kenealy, Fats Valliant, Jeff Henderson.

Special thanks to Robyn Kenealy who was central to the performance/installation and Tao Wells who convinced me to put in the proposal.

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“Concerned Citizens: Raising Money for the ‘Terror Raid’ Arrestees” (Garrett Street, Wellington, June 3rd, 2011)

Monday, May 23rd, 2011

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“More than 50 artists from around New Zealand will be exhibiting their work in Wellington at the start of next month to raise funds and public awareness for the arrestees of the 2007 October 15 “terror raids.” Exhibited works range from paintings, sculptures, and animation, to a reproduction of the assassination device police claim ‘terror raid’ arrestees planned to use – a catapult designed to launch a bus onto the head of former US president George Bush.” (Scoop: Independent News)

‘Concerned Citizens’ is taking place at Garrett Street, in Wellington (opposite Glover Park, above People’s coffee) and opens on Friday 3rd of June at 4.30pm, followed by a screening of the documentary Operation 8: Deep in the Forest at 8pm. The donated works will be on sale and display over the weekend (with all money raised going to those currently standing trial). I will be donating a couple of works, alongside more than 50 Wellington artists including Tao Wells, Campbell Kneale, Bryce Galloway, Robyn Kenealy, Ellen Rhoda, Roger Morris, Richard Meros, Arlo Edwards, Jeff Henderson and Hannah Salmon (see full list here).

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A SHORT HISTORY LESSON

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“On Monday, October 15th 2007, more than 300 police carried out dawn raids on dozens of houses all over Aotearoa/New Zealand. Police claim the raids were in response to ‘concrete terrorist threats’ from indigenous activists.” (October 15 Solidarity Website) However, the Solicitor-General was quick to reject the police bid to treat these arrests as ‘terrorism’ and the only charges laid to date have been for the possession of unlicensed firearms.

4 years later those arrested, including both Maori and Pakeha activists, are finally standing trial, but have been denied a jury; “Why have these people been denied a trial by jury? Why is there so much secrecy surrounding the legal proceedings? The police seem to be equating legitimate political and environmental activism with terrorism.” (Lance Ravenswood) Adding insult to injury, it has now been announced that the trial may be postponed another year, not taking place until 2012. Tamati Kruger speculated that the delay of the trial may have something to do with the rugby world cup being scheduled to start just as the trial would have been ending; “There may be an embarrassment with some Tūhoe action and public action while rugby and New Zealand is being showcased to the world.” (read more)

Ngai Tūhoe were one of the main targets of the ‘terror raids’, which serves to further damage the already strained relations between Tūhoe and the NZ government. In 1865 Tuhoe were falsely accused of killing the missionary Karl Volkner and, based on this accusation, the government stole 5700ha of their most fertile land. Furthermore, Tuhoe declined to sign the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840, were instrumental in supporting the Kingitanga movement, and granted Te Kooti (who had been arrested and exiled by Crown without trial) sanctuary in Te Urewera in 1868. As a result, “a scorched earth campaign was unleashed against Tūhoe; people were imprisoned and killed, their cultivations and homes destroyed, and stock killed or run off. Through starvation, deprivation and atrocities at the hands of the government… Tūhoe submitted to the Crown.” (Te Ara Encyclopedia)  The way in which the most recent arrests were carried out at Te Urewera, and the subsequent abuse of the term ‘terrorist’, only adds to the very real terror visited on the Tūhoe people by the New Zealand government over the past 140 years. As Tame Iti has said, the “mana of Tuhoe that has been compromised, trampled by Pakeha [for more than 100 years]… so this is not a new experience for me today.” (read more)

Dr. Paul Buchanan points out that, “All of [the charges] can be dealt with by criminal law. There’s no reason to criminalise political dissent or to make a separate category of political crimes that constitute terrorism… In liberal democracies we have an absolute right to dissent and in dissenting we are actually allowed the absolute right to misbehave… It’s only dictatorships, authoritarian regimes that criminalise dissent and make the term terrorism synonymous with dissent.” (see more) Unarguably, owning firearms without a license breaks New Zealand law. However, in labeling political activists ‘terrorists’ it is clear that something other than ‘the law’ was at stake for both the police and the government. Even though the charges of terrorism were dropped, the association of activism (and in particular Maori activism) with terrorism has been made. The function of the term ‘terrorist’ in this particular discourse is clearly meaningful, in the sense that it undermines the legitimacy of political dissent where Maori and activism are concerned in terms of mainstream media and public opinion. The damage has been done.

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