Posts Tagged ‘Richard Whyte’

“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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“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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“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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“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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“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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