Archive for the ‘EXHIBITIONS’ Category

“Lightbulb” (Video Art, 2001)

Thursday, December 13th, 2001

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Early silent experimental/poetic film, made on an old VHSC camera. First screened as part of Scenes From the Aro Valley, curated by Campbell Walker (Paramount Theatre, Wellington, 20-23 April, 2006). Also featuring films by Colin HodsonAlex GreenhoughElric Kane, Diane McAllen, Andy Chappell and Campbell Walker. Part of a suite of films made in 2001.

Five experimental shorts in about 7 minutes by Richard (Dick) Whyte, among other things a ghost in the margins of almost all the Aro Valley films, and possibly the least known and most active filmmaker involved with the movement.” (Campbell Walker, Scenes from the Aro Valley)

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“Brooklyn” (Video Art, 2001)

Monday, December 17th, 2001

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Early silent experimental/poetic film, made on an old VHSC camera. First screened as part of Scenes From the Aro Valley, curated by Campbell Walker (Paramount Theatre, Wellington, 20-23 April, 2006). Also featuring films by Colin HodsonAlex GreenhoughElric Kane, Diane McAllen, Andy Chappell and Campbell Walker. Part of a suite of films made in 2001.

Five experimental shorts in about 7 minutes by Richard (Dick) Whyte, among other things a ghost in the margins of almost all the Aro Valley films, and possibly the least known and most active filmmaker involved with the movement.” (Campbell Walker, Scenes from the Aro Valley programme notes)

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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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“Lunar” (Video Art, 2004)

Friday, December 24th, 2004

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Video poem of the moon. First screened as part of Scenes From the Aro Valley, curated by Campbell Walker (Paramount Theatre, Wellington, 20-23 April, 2006). Also featuring films by Colin Hodson, Alex Greenhough, Elric Kane, Diane McAllen, Andy Chappell and Campbell Walker. Part of a suite of videos made in 2004.

Five experimental shorts in about 7 minutes by Richard (Dick) Whyte, among other things a ghost in the margins of almost all the Aro Valley films, and possibly the least known and most active filmmaker involved with the movement.” (Campbell Walker, Scenes from the Aro Valley programme notes)

“[Sergei] Eisenstein, we recall, championed the use of ‘montage’ theory in film. Here film communicated by a succession of juxtaposed images that did not need to have a linear, narrative or consequential relationship between them. Shot ‘A’ followed by shot ‘B’ created a new meaning ‘C’ in the mind of the viewer. Eisenstein likened this to ‘haiku’ – a traditional Japanese poetic form in which a short succession of separate images combines in the mind of the reader to create a total meaning which is greater than the sum of its component parts. In this way, meaning is suggested rather than stated. Eisenstein hoped to communicate specific meanings, but in the haiku… the implication is far more abstract.” (Richard Howells, Visual Culture)

“Maya Deren had attempted to find a filmic equivalent to the haiku shortly before her death. She left the project incomplete. [Stan] Brakhage too used the analogy to the haiku in discussing his 8mm Songs. By including the two haiku series in Lost, Lost, Lost [Jonas] Mekas contextualized them as steps in the development of his poetic incarnation as a film-maker.” (P. Adams Sitney, Eyes Upside Down: Visionary Filmmakers and the Heritage of Emerson)

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“This is not a black square” (Video Art, 2004)

Wednesday, December 29th, 2004

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Animated film made from a series of black and white photocopies, dedicated to Kazimir Malevich and Rene Magritte. First screened at the experimental film evening ‘Iris Out’, curated by Diane McAllen (New Zealand Film Archive, Wellington, Nov. 2004). Subsequently screened as part of ‘Experimental Film & Video Art’ curated by Zoe Roland (The Physics Room, Christchurch, March 2006) and the exhibition ‘Still Moving: From Photography to Interactive Art’ (Corban Estate Art Center, Auckland, June 2006). Part of a suite of videos made in 2004.

“In the tradition of Stan Brakhage, Len Lye and contemporary video artists such as Gillian Wearing this selection of works seeks to develop a new language uncompromised by mainstream cinema and orthodox narrative constructions. This programme of experimental film and video art provides a snapshot of artistic activity around the moving image.” (The Physics Roomread more)

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“Bardo Follies II [for George Landow]” (Video Art, 2006)

Wednesday, December 13th, 2006

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“Dick Whyte is definitively the most prolific of the Aro Valley digital filmmakers. Since the late 90s he’s produced a dizzying amount of experimental film work, much of which remains unseen – although his most recent work is usually produced for and released online.” (Campbell Walker, Ghost Movies programme notes)

16mm live film sequel to George Landow’s “Bardo Follies” (preserved on miniDV). Thanks to Alexander Greenhough for the 16mm projector and Toby and Melissa Donald for the New Zealand Film Unit footage. First screened at ‘Film Night with Big Dick’ as part of “Rubberneck III” curated by Anton L’Etranger and Ruby Nekk (Thistle Hall, Wellington, 2006). Subsequently screened as part of “Ghost Movies: Experimental shorts from the Aro Valley Digital Cinema 1997-2007” curated by Campbell Walker (The Frederick Street Light and Sound Experience, Wellington, 2010). Ghost Movies also featured films by Colin Hodson, Nia Robyn, Diane McAllen, Campbell Walker and Andy Chappell. Read the programme notes here.

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“Three Paragraphs for Tao Wells” (Space Jam 1996, Gambia Castle, 2009)

Friday, December 4th, 2009

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In 2009 Tao Wells asked me to write a short piece of writing to accompany his exhibition “Space Jam 1996” at Gambia Castle in Auckland, New Zealand. I happily agreed and after much back and forth with Tao this is what I came up with. Art critic John Hurrell later reviewed the show on Eye Contact, saying that “No meritable quality, in my view, is apparent from just looking at the exhibition.” For the record, I recommend thinking about it as well as looking, John.

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Three paragraphs for Tao Wells

Dick Whyte, November 2009

 

Tao Wells is a terrible artist. But he is a good person. It is ethics which concern me, rather than aesthetics (it is always so elegant to say what something is, followed by what it is not – it seems so final, or definitive). Morals involve any laws or codes which are imposed on you from without (religion, the legal system). Ethics are an internal model of behaviour: when morality no longer reflects our personal reality, ethics must intervene. Michel Foucault: “Ethics is the considered form that freedom takes when it is informed by reflection.”

A second definition of ethics: we must become adept at talking with ourselves. We are always two, rather than one. “I am” is merely the light, beneath the shadowy “me” and “my” (particularly when used in statements like: “Oh me, oh my, I don’t know what I am going to do”). Not knowing what to do, we turn to ethics. Of course, the other response is simply to ignore whatever is troubling: to claim that it is “not art,” “not human” or simply “not to my taste.” If Immanuel Kant has taght us anything: art has nothing to do with taste (and everything to do with time).

Problem: I am interested in ethics, not aesthetics. Solution: I am interested in both ethics and aesthetics. Firstly: how can an aesthetic shock the audience into a moment of critical thought (how do formal aesthetics prompt emotional ethics). Secondly: what does it feel like when you experience representations of people making ethical choices (how do formal ethics prompt emotional aesthetics). Problem: Tao Wells is a terrible artist. Solution: Tao Wells is both a terrible artist and a terrific artist, and this is the hardest of all concepts to grasp.

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“John Cage – 4’33” [May ’68 Comeback Special RECON]” (Video Art, 2010)

Wednesday, June 9th, 2010

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Reconstruction of John Cage’s 4’33” using 68 YouTube videos of people performing the piece on a variety of instruments. Part of the ongoing RECON project. Many thanks to Rhizome.org and C-Monster for featuring this work recently.

“There is no such thing as an empty space or an empty time. There is always something to see, something to hear. In fact, try as we may to make a silence, we cannot.” (John Cage, Experimental Music)

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“Artdick News: John Cage RECON Goes Semi-Viral” (Rhizome, 2010)

Wednesday, September 8th, 2010

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Exciting news! My video reconstruction John Cage – 4’33” [May ’68 Comeback Special RECON] was featured on the front page of Rhizome (one of the most well known digital art networking sites) after being posted on Mediateletipos. It went semi-viral and has since been posted on a number of blogs and was even twittered a few times. Since then the video has received more than 2000 views! Special thanks to Drawing Silence, who was the first person to re-blog this video, and PietMondriaan who also featured it on their art blog.

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“Wells Group: The Beneficiary Office” (Tao Wells, 2010)

Saturday, October 16th, 2010

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I am pleased to announce that I have accepted a position at Wells Group Public Relations. From the 15th of October until the 3rd of November we will be located on level 3, 50 Manners Street (in Wellington, New Zealand) woking toward rebranding the notion of beneficiaries (in terms of definition and representation). After just one day of being open, we have generated a large amount of press and controversy around the project, which we hope will lead to increased productive discourse over the weeks to come. Visit the Wells Group website, join our Twitter account or our FaceBook page to keep informed about upcoming events.

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