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PET moving image exhibition

PET moving image exhibition.

When: Opens 6pm 13 Feb. Exhibition runs 14 Feb - 12 April 2014.

Where: The New Zealand Film Archive, 84 Taranaki St, Wellington.

FREE ADMISSION

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

New PET exhibition


Fox Movietone News: A Cow Comes in to Dinner (1954).

Join the New Zealand Film Archive for some furry, feathered and clawed fun this Valentine’s Day Eve (February 13), when they celebrate the opening of their new PET moving image exhibition. The exhibition on kiwis and their pets (who doesn’t remember their childhood pets?) has been prepared by 2014 Film Archive Curator-at-Large Gareth Watkins.

The exhibition will open with a screening of animal moments from the Film Archive collection – including pets from 1905 up until today – at 6pm, February 13. The silent lms will be accompanied by pianist Victoria Thompson.

After the screening there will be a curator squawk, refreshments and the unveiling of the exhibition.

From children playing with the cat in the backyard to the whole family washing the dog in a large tub; PET is made up of many moments that are lovingly photographed. What is perhaps more surprising are other types of pets – a tiger playing with its human family; a cow eating at the kitchen table; a pet magpie and cat enjoying each other’s company.

The various screens in the exhibition will offer up a number of themes – pet and calf days, parades, group and individual pets and curiosities. Alongside these playful moments are a number of sequences that show another side of human/animal relationships – the chimps tea party, the organised dog ght and what society does with unwanted pets.

This PET exhibition draws upon many parts of the Film Archive’s collection – silent features, shorts, the newly merged Sound Archives Ngā Taonga Kōrero catalogue and the Personal Records collection.

The Film Archive has over 15,000 Personal Records – home movies of life in New Zealand documented by the individuals and families involved. Mainly spanning from the early 1910s to the 1980s, this collection grew considerably during the Last Film Search, which primarily set out to nd pre-1950 nitrate feature lms. However, what turned up more frequently were boxes of 8mm home movies.

Prior to smartphones, capturing moving images was probably a more considered activity. Every frame of lm cost money and it couldn’t be erased and re-used. So what we see in these home movies is what was personally important to the lmmaker – family gatherings, signicant events, holidays … and family pets.

“The Personal Record collection offers such a wonderful glimpse into what we, as individuals and families, think is important to document,” says Watkins.

“It offers us a chance to see people informally in their own settings and in their own time. The fact that these moments were documented, and documented in the semi-permanent medium of lm struck me and made me question what will happen to the all of those personal memories recorded on reusable VHS or more recently smart-phones? Will today’s images be available for people to view in 100 years from now?”

Watkins is a documentary maker and photographer. He has spent over twenty years in the radio industry, producing numerous award-winning documentaries - including portraits of composer Douglas Lilburn and poets Alistair and Meg Campbell. His portrait photography has featured in a number of publications and appears in the collections of the National Library of New Zealand and the Wallace Arts Trust.

As Curator-at-Large, Watkins will curate a series of four exhibitions built around footage from the Film Archive's collection during 2014. His second exhibition (17 April - 14 June)

will examine HIV AIDS in New Zealand. The third exhibition (19 June - 16 Aug) will look at a variety of “tricks n treats” and how they are represented in moving images - as societal attitudes change, how do we frame activities like gambling, drinking, smoking, prostitution and drug use in New Zealand? His nal exhibition (21 Aug - 18 Oct) will focus on the farewelling of New Zealand troops.

The PET exhibition will run from 14 February through 12 April, 2014. At the Film Archive, 84 Taranaki St, Wellington. FREE ADMISSION.

ENDS

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