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International Art Show Focusses On Cinema

26 November 2001

A fast-paced international show of contemporary art based on the impact of cinema on life in the 21st century opens soon at the Govett-Brewster Art Gallery in New Plymouth.

This dynamic exhibition is a rare and exciting chance to see New Zealand art next to works from all over the world… London, Zurich, Berlin, New York, Los Angeles, Melbourne…

Titled Feature: art, life and cinema, it opens on 8 December and runs till 28 January 2002.

It looks at the impact of cinema on television, advertising, architecture, music, the worldwide web… and ultimately contemporary art.

Gallery Director Greg Burke says Feature is a fantastic show for a broad range of tastes, from art enthusiasts to people interested in cinema and pop culture.

“Engaging and very interactive, this major international show makes reference to cinema classics like Psycho, Night of the Living Dead, X Files, Batman, The Wizard of Oz, The Empire Strikes Back, Tokyo Story, Johnny Guitar… as well as rock legends such as David Bowie, Mick Jagger and Pink Floyd. It has the potential to be a very popular show,” he says.

The moving image has become a dominant medium in contemporary art influenced by a generation of artists who have grown up with the video store, satellite TV and MTV, the video recorder and sophisticated computer games.

“At the same time cinema is converging with formerly distinct areas such as television, advertising and the virtual worlds presented on the worldwide web,” he says.

“The world we have inherited in the 21st century is strange, a place infused with the cinematic dreams and nightmares of Hollywood, meshed with the hyper-real projections of Reality TV, advertising and cyberspace.”

The artists in Feature explore and play with these themes.

The exhibition presents video installations by American artists Julie Becker and Christian Marclay, Berlin artist Maix Mayer, Australian artist Tracey Moffatt and New Zealand artists Jim Speers and Terry Urbahn. The show also includes photography, sculpture and painting, with work by American artists Sharon Lockhart, Laura Cottingham and Leslie Singer, London based Chinese artist Steven Wong, Australian artist Callum Morton and New Zealand artists Ann Shelton, Ronnie van Hout, Eugene Hansen and Mary-Louise Browne.

Two large scale audio-visual exhibitions will be presented in association with Feature – the film and photo installation by Swiss artist duo COM & COM titled C-files: Tell Saga, which opened at the Govett-Brewster on 17 November and Canadian artist Rodney Graham’s expansive and mesmerising video projection How I Became a Ramblin’ Man.

C-files: Tell Saga includes a film starring the artists Marcus Gossolt and Johannus M Hedinger as special agents investigating a series of mysterious murders and kidnappings. It came direct from this year’s Venice Biennale to the Govett-Brewster for its only Australasian showing. It finishes with Feature on 28 January.

How I Became a Ramblin’ Man, a highlight of the exhibition calendar in New York last year, depicts Graham as a singing cowboy in a rugged Canadian landscape and also opens on 8 December. It runs through the summer holidays to 10 February.

An illustrated catalogue accompanies the exhibition with essays by Burke; Los Angeles based writer Chris Kraus and Italian writer Luca Cerizza

“Cinema, more than any other instrument of entertainment like video games and virtual reality, is still the main instrument of hybridisation and exchange with the real,” comments Cerizza.

The exhibition has been generously supported by: The Chartwell Trust, Pro Helvetia, Arts Council of Switzerland, New Zealand Community Trust and the Embassy of Switzerland in Wellington.


For further information contact:

Greg Burke, Director
06 758 5149


Miriam Jardine, Business Development Manager
06 759 0852

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