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17 Days of Shopping - A Photographic Installation

The power and the packaging....

17 Days of Shopping - A Photographic Installation by Mary Macpherson


3 November - 7 December 2000

The latest exhibition at the Michael Hirschfeld Gallery gives a disconcerting new slant on that familiar saying 'We are what we eat'.

Mary Macpherson has filled the space with 95 colour photographs documenting food and groceries she purchased over 17 days, in Wellington and en-route to Taupo. Why 17 days? "I bought 10 rolls of film and it was 17 days before the 10 rolls ran out," she says. "One of the important things in this project was the arbitrary nature of it."

She is interested in how even the most basic food items reach us via an increasingly elaborate web of design, packaging, marketing, biotechnology and industrial infrastructure. Most modern-day shoppers have lost the skills of previous generations to feed themselves - along with any real connection to food production. Writes curator Tracy Sibson "...we choose products on the basis of aesthetics and image, and they subsequently become one aspect of how we define ourselves. Like it or not, we still are what we eat".

There will be a talk by the artist on Sunday 19 Nov at 3pm, in the Michael Hirschfeld Gallery. Macpherson has been exhibiting since 1979 and her work is featured in public and private collections throughout New Zealand, including Te Papa, the Dowse Art Museum, and Dunedin City Art Gallery. 17 Days of Shopping featured at the Waikato Museum of Art and History from July to August this year. A portfolio of images from 17 Days of Shopping will be featured in the forthcoming Sport literary magazine.

17 Days of Shopping is presented within the Michael Hirschfeld Gallery's exhibitions programme, 360 - a full perspective on Wellington Art, generously sponsored by Designworks. ENDS.

Anne Irving Publicist T: 04 801 3959 F: 04 801 3950 Parihaka - The Art of Passive Resistance 26 August - 19 January 2001 Admission Free Check out: http://www.parihaka.city-gallery.org.nz




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