Posts Tagged ‘Dick Whyte’

“Two Early Poems” (c. 2000)

Saturday, December 2nd, 2000

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“I’m a poet
before I’m a lover
before anything
else,” I said
and Tim,
driving a spot,
said, “Jesus, I’d hate
to be your
lover.”

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The builder came
again today
with his glue-gun
and his gruff
thoughtful voice.
“This work,” he said,
“My heart isn’t
in it, y’know?
I like banging nails
but it’s not art.”

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First published in “Dick Whyte: Collected Poems 1999-2002″ (Wayfarer Press, handbound, edition of 25 with free CD).

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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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“Memphis” (Digital Painting/Album Cover, 2007)

Tuesday, December 25th, 2007

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“There is no history to tell us of the beginnings of Memphis, only legend. It’s legendary founder, Menes, may have been one or several of the shadowy figures whose identity has never been established. Menes however… has been acknowledged through the centuries as the first ruler of Egypt. Before his time, the country was divided into Upper and Lower Egypt, each separate and distinct from the other and largely made up of independent kingdoms. Menes united these into one undivided Egypt.” (Marion Teena Dimick, Memphis: City of the White Wall)

This image was later used as the cover for the third Nova Scotia album Memphis (Ikuisuus Records, 2008). Nova Scotia are an experimental noise band from New Zealand comprised of Rick Jensen, Dean Brown and Dick Whyte (also featuring a guest performance by Antony Milton on this recording). Click here to listen to excerpts from the album. Find out more about Nova Scotia.

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“‘Memphis’ is a consistently flowing top-shelf example of how electronic and acoustic sources work together in improvised music today. It’s nearly impossible to not mention the classic example of AMM’s pioneering work in this field or the more contemporary efforts of Evan Parker’s group settings, even if Jensen’s reed work owes more to someone like Jon Butcher. The interplay between Jensen’s multiphonics and ornamental work and the brass-playing on the opening track is almost Scelsi-like amidst the drones and looped sounds from Whyte’s guitar and the other subtle sonics. Some truly sublime and captivating music. “Rosetta Stone Paperweight” features more feedback and the sort of scraped sound aesthetic found on “AMMusic” circa 1969, but perhaps with a more sensitive set of ears. This is not improvised music of reckless abandon, but carefully crafted abstract soundscapes of the most deliberate nature. The dynamic interplay gets a bit sloppy in moments but really exposes how in touch these cats are with one another in the moment.” (Heathen Harvest)

“The recordings were done at 2 seperate gigs at Photospace Gallery in Wellington, NZ. I exhibited at the gallery twice and we began performing there quite often (the owner even played drums for my group The Rick Jensen Trio). Nova Scotia played a number of times there as the environment was particularly suited to us, outside was the main street in Wellington, where everyone would go drinking at night. It was all nightclubs and bars, buskers and drunk people. When we performed we’d open the windows and use any street sound that came through and integrate it into our performance. For the track that features Antony, we played a gig with him and then invited him to join us, it turned out to be an unusual song. All of the performances we did at Photospace had a particular feel to them, and we certainly developed our sound a lot with these gigs. There’s not a lot more to say about them, at this point we were using many homemade instruments, broken electronics, 4 tracks, and anything we had at hand. This album represents a highly experimental period for us and shows the way we were going at the time.” (Rick Jensen)

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“Detournement: Critical Cinema and the Internet” (The New Zealand Film Archive, curated by Dick Whyte, 2010)

Sunday, January 23rd, 2011

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In November 2010 I curated a screening of my favourite experimental videos sourced from YouTube and Vimeo at The New Zealand Film Archive with the help of the wonderful Mark Williams.

“What do Miss Piggy, Britney Spears, Mussolini, Super Mario Bros., Charlie Rose, John Key, Ruth Richardson and Buster Keaton have in common? They are all the subjects of avant-garde films on YouTube. Film maker and academic Dick Whyte presents a screening of recent avant-garde films he has curated from YouTube. All of them re-purpose existing material into new works. Whyte says, “Technology has taken a long time to get to the point where video makers can sample with the same abandon as musicians and still image makers. YouTube heralds a new age in avant-garde cinema which is fully engaged with popular media.” The screening will be accompanied by short introductions to the films and their particular strategies, looking at the function of avant-garde moving-image at the beginning of the twenty-first century.” (Mark Williams, read more)

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The screening was broken into two halves. The first half contained some of my favorite glitch and datamoshing videos (click video stills to watch).

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Atonal70CCD Crash (2007)

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IllarterateTeleglitche (2008)

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Jan DybalaVRGB 3.0 [Sequence 3] (2009)

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MySilentDawnRUTHYRUTHRICHIERICNEOLIB (2010)

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Tasman RichardsonATARI 2600 Remix [excerpt] (2007)

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Cory Arcangel & Paper Rad – Super Mario Movie (2005)

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The second half contained some of my favorite videos reworking popular media imagery, from Mussolini to Miss Piggy (click video stills to watch).

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Andrew Filippone Jr.Charlie Rose by Samuel Beckett (2008)

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Mitteo PasinItaliani (2007)

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Peter RandDouble Rainbow / Donald Judd Mashup (2010)

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SalvinsaIN LOVE (2010)

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RebelliousPixelsSo You Think You Can Be President? [Debate Remix] (2008)

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Dick WhyteOf The Refrain: Art Must Be Beautiful, Artist Must Be Beautiful (2010)

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Michael Bell-SmithR. Kelly’s ‘Trapped In The Closet’ Played Simultaneously (2006)

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WaambatFuck the Pain Away [Sung by Miss Piggy] (2008)

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“Projections” (curated by Tim Wyborn, Enjoy Gallery, Wellington, 2002)

Monday, February 21st, 2011

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Projections was an exhibition involving nine artists [Rick Jensen, Nikki Deeley, Jason O'Dea, Devon Damonte, Dick Whyte, Andy Chappell and Tim Wyborn], working with slide projectors as their medium… The projectors all blew up on the opening night, and one of them refused to stay in sequence during the exhibition, but I didn’t really mind. In fact, I appreciate this because it made the audience more aware of the technology… Projections on walls are a simple idea, but when it comes to actually making it happen, it’s a real bastard. So seeing as the exhibition series was supposed to be about curative acts, I felt that it was good to expose the public to the mechanics of the exhibition.” (Tim Wyborn, curator’s statement)

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“Many of the images are of singular artworks, and are interesting in themselves, but remain a showcase, much like a portfolio of work. Other slides actually use the material as their medium, constructing an image within itself. These I appreciate as they conflict with the other, singular artwork showpieces, more ethereal in nature. Richard Whyte’s mound-like creations [see below] juxtaposed with Nikki Deeley’s artworks for example. They jar the senses; this is stimulating in itself to have so much difference so quickly. Each slide holds fascination in itself. Slightly frustrating, I want to climb in and see the scale, size and texture of Nikki’s artworks. Richard’s, I can view for the painterly quality, and refer to formal attributes in their actuality experiential qualities such as scale, visual texture, collision with other slides that are his on opposite walls.” (review by Kate Kelly, read more)

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Sadly, Tim died on January 2, 2003. He was a dear friend of mine and is remembered with love by his family, friends and the Wellington art community.

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