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Exhibition seeks out activism in art

Media Release

02 December 2005

Govett-Brewster exhibition seeks out activism in art

The Govett-Brewster Art Gallery is pleased to present From mini-FM to hacktivists: a guide to art and activism from 10 December to 3 March 2006. Curated by Mercedes Vicente this is her first exhibition as the Govett-Brewster Art Gallery’s new Curator, Contemporary Art.

The artists featured include: Greg Bordowitz (US), Fiona Clark (NZ), Alannah Currie (NZ), John Di Stefano (NZ), Marcelo Expósito (SP), Annie Goldson (NZ), Adam Hyde (AMS/NZ), Zita Joyce (NZ), Tetsuo Kogawa (JP), LTTR (US), neuroTransmitter (US), Paper Tiger TV & Deep Dish TV (US), Oliver Ressler & David Thorne (AU/US), Martha Rosler (US), Allan Sekula (US), The Yes Men (US), 0100101110101101 (Eva and Franco Mattes) (IT)

Vicente says: “From mini-FM to hacktivists examines contemporary artistic and activist practices in the context of alternative media and provides the historical grounding for today’s internet collaborations. It illustrates a new paradigm of counter information in communications as well as in artistic practices.”

Three components make up the show including; installation works; an interactive media lab; and a programme of documentary screenings in the Gallery theatre. This exhibition presents the mini-FM project of Tetsuo Kogawa, founder of free radio in Japan in the early 80s, whose model has influenced media activists and artists such as the collective neurotransmitter and artists Adam Hyde and Zita Joyce. Representing the anti-globalisation movement is Allan Sekula’s Waiting for tear gas (white globe to black) 1999-2000, a photo reportage of the Seattle World Trade Organisation (WTO) protests. Martha Rosler revisits one of her most emblematic photomontage series Bringing the war home: house beautiful 1967-2005, which draws a parallel between the Vietnam and Iraq Wars. Marcelo Expósito’s video Radical Imagination (Carnivals of Resistance) 2004 documents the Reclaim of the streets movement which brought commercial life to a standstill in London in 1999.

Taking the form of guerrilla cybertactics the collectives The Yes Men and clone news and spoof websites creating a great deal of confusion and succeeding in exposing the effects and ideologies behind global corporations. Fiona Clark uses photography as a political tool to fight community issues. Her series Arial views 1980, presented for the first time in a Gallery context, were used by local Te Atiawa Iwi in a court case against the destructive waste generated by an expanding Taranaki energy industry.

The media lab includes a selection of recent video productions by Paper Tiger TV and Deep Dish TV who have been providing shows for public access TV via cable and satellite in the US since the 80s. An extensive programme of documentary films will feature works by Annie Goldson, John Di Stefano, Greg Bordowitz, LTTR, Leon Narbey, among others, whose strong social and political commitment as a natural progression of their own politics introduce public awareness and change.

Vicente has recently returned from New York after opening her show If it’s too bad to be true, it could be ‘disinformation. This exhibition has received reviews in both The New York Times and ArtForum and will travel to the Blackwood Gallery in The University of Toronto at Mississauga, Canada from 4 January to 28 February 2006.

Also showing at the Govett-Brewster Art Gallery from 3 December to 13 March Len Lye: Individual Happiness Now! curated by Tyler Cann and from 10 December to 3 March 2006 Linked: connectivity and exchange curated by Charlotte Huddleston.


Notes to editor:

Opening weekend special event:

Sunday 11 December at 1.30: Exhibition tour
Join Curator Mercedes Vicente and artists for a discussion of their works in From mini-FM to hacktivists: a guide to art and activism.

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