the uncommon good
December 1 - 23, 2017
the uncommon good is et al’s first show in Christchurch since 2012. The aesthetic remains however, with text, erasure, found object and astute use of wall and floor space – activated with poise and an unerring beauty of touch.
For some, the look may be bleak: grey and black on newsprint, scribbled writing, black gaffer tape, and some spray can in fluoro pink. There are glimpses of yellow and gold. But the mark-making, composition and seemingly casual presentation is essential et al. It is a mode that those who follow have admired for its tenacity, integrity and political engagement for over 40 years now.
Here, pages of the New York Times are presented taped to the wall. Gleaned whilst in Maine earlier this year, these works are almost diaristic observations of the relentless narcissism and politics of power. This is certainly not the common good. It is Trump et al. And headlines dominated also by Islamic State, Zika, Turkey and the nuclear threat. Et al’s annotations look like redaction on official documents, hinting at on-going obfuscation and manipulation.
On one page from the Wall St Journal, August 22, 2016 in black on grey, et al has written “if the past has gone the present is not here and the future will not come”. This attitude is familiar to Maori. The biggest new work in the show, called white cube brown room tin shed and turanga waka out the back, has a similar subtext. Its fluoro cross form reminds me of Maori sovereignty flags and Hotere’s Black Union Jack. And it is sprayed over the floorplan for a Type 1 House, designed for Aborigines in corrugated iron and concrete by the state governments of Australia. The same plans are presented on the gallery floor, measured out in duct tape. The houses, including verandahs, are grotesquely small. So, uptake has been poor. The subjects of et al’s research, it seems to me, are coming slowly home.
Please hover over image to see title...
List of works
towards the uncommon good (direct your gaze)
towards the uncommon good (Intern)
towards the uncommon good (Sending a Signal)
towards the uncommon good (Woman Leads)
towards the uncommon good (Raise Urgency)
towards the uncommon good (Anti-Black)
towards the uncommon good (Deadly Bombing)
towards the uncommon good (Climbing Back)
towards the uncommon good (Immigration)
towards the uncommon good (Zika)
towards the uncommon good (A)
towards the uncommon good (Fearing Nuclear War)
towards the uncommon good (Metropolitan Museum)
towards the uncommon good (Bomb)
towards the uncommon good (Curb the Use)
towards the uncommon good (Unlikely Role Model)
towards the uncommon good (Gauging)
towards the uncommon good (China Sending)
towards the uncommon good (Circling a Star)
towards the uncommon good (Turkey)
towards the uncommon good (World’s Unity)
towards the uncommon good (2200 hrs)
towards the uncommon good (Drumbeats)
all towards the uncommon good works are liquitex & mixed media on newspaper, 560 x 300mm
white cube brown room tin shed and tūnga waka out-the-back
includes towards the uncommon good (E.P.A. Chief) & trans-spec floor plan
PANiA! Marama Inc et al
psychic – static PS 1 & 2 (lights)
hanging rings 1 & 2, bronze or brass
Photographer for towards the uncommon good individual works: Alex North
Doubles and Trebles (Reprise)
December 1 - 23, 2017
Emily Hartley-Skudder & Hamish Coleman
Doubles and Trebles was originally conceived as a collaborative project between artists Emily Hartley-Skudder and Hamish Coleman for Ramp Gallery in Hamilton, exhibiting from 24 March - 11 April this year. Doubles and Trebles (Reprise) is a re-presentation of this show.
At Ramp Gallery, the project was accurately described thus: "For Doubles & Trebles, Coleman and Hartey-Skudder combine their practices to expand and explore the process of making and the act of viewing. References to representational painting play off against formal qualities; the surface is emphasised and the ‘paintings’ pose as backdrops, objects, photographs, and shadows on walls.
The artists’ studio approaches are deconstructed and begin to fold back into each other – disrupting the viewer’s notions of order and completeness, and broadening discourse around the medium of painting by moving beyond the picture plane."
The installation at Ramp Gallery was accompanied by a text commissioned from Ellie Lee-Duncan, entitled The Gamble. Please follow the link to view this essay: http://www.rampgallery.co.nz/assets/Uploads/Essay-Ellie-Lee-Duncan-DoublesTrebles-RampGallery-2019.pdf
List of works
Short Elevated Period
Silver Velvet Monolith
All works are collaborative, from 2017