Art & Entertainment | Book Reviews | Education | Entertainment Video | Health | Lifestyle | Sport | Sport Video | Search

 

Remaining Strange: Photographic Exhibition

This is an invitation to Thomas Neal’s REMAINING STRANGE photographic exhibition at RIVET CAFÉ on Ponsonby Road.

In Thomas Neal’s series of photos he explores the concept of ‘civil inattention’, or the act of avoiding eye contact or interest with anyone in a public space. Bus Stops, train stations, fish and chip shops, pedestrian crossing are all times when we maintain our ‘civil attention’. In each large format photo he sends actors into the scene and documents as civilians are broken out of their ‘civil attention’ trance performing for the camera.

Thomas Neal is a graduate of Massey University’s Batchelor of Design and is currently in the States continuing his research into ‘civil inattention’.

RIVET CAFÉ is open Tuesday-Sunday 7am-6pm at 143 Ponsonby Rd.


REMAINING STRANGE - public order

ARTIST’S ABSTRACT


My interest in public behaviour developed at a bus stop. I noticed myself wanting to 'sneak a peek' at the other people at the bus stop but found myself being very cautious in order to avoid being caught. I found this confliction of natural instinct and behavioural norm very interesting.

In my photographs I have focussed on public areas where groups of individuals congregate within each other's vicinity and are forced to share a space over a length of time.

I have been looking at stranger's interactional behaviour and the 'rules' or social norms that they abide to, when in this situation. The main objective of this behaviour is to look 'normal' so that everyone can carry on with their business without getting stressed about a 'weirdo' in their vicinity. But to be a 'nobody' in the eyes of others is not actually very simple, because the body is very symbolic and acts as a communication device that is constantly 'on'. Therefore, when the stranger is trying to be a 'nobody' they are actually 'acting' a particular way. This act or performance is termed 'civil inattention'.

When people perform 'civil inattention' they will not stand too close, or too far from each other, they will not stare, but can look (for a bit), they will not listen to each others conversation (or at least act like it), they will not face each other directly, but they wont turn their back on each other either.

The next stage of my research was testing stranger's performance of civil inattention. By having a camera present and getting actors to run and pose in the picture, I was breaking the social norm, when they saw us, there was no way of ignoring us, all they could do was perform their best ‘civil inattention’ they've had! Or they gave into their curiosity and watched!

In the end, when you have the photo and you can view it as voyeuristically as you like, you are given the opportunity to examine this behaviour from a safe distance, and you realise that really we weren't the actors but the 'unknowns', the stranger's, are really the performers.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines

 


Howard Davis: Avantdale Bowling Club

Auckland rapper and MC Tom Scott brought his stunning jazz-infused Taite Music Prize-winning project Avantdale Bowling Club to the Opera House headlining Wellington's 2020 Jazz Festival. More>>

Howard Davis: Kevin Field Quintet

With the hardest pews in town and an icon of Ruth Bader Ginsburg adorning the walls, St Peter's Church added a distinctly spiritual element to the debut of three new pieces by Kiwi jazz pianist and composer Kevin Field that celebrated our common humanity. More>>

Stage: Wellington’s Theatre Awards To Go Ahead

The Wellington Theatre Awards will go ahead despite a devastating year for New Zealand’s creative sector. Wellington Theatre Awards Trust Chair Tom Broadmore said, “the creative sector, and Wellington’s vibrant theatre sector has been gutted by the ... More>>

Journalism: An Icon Returns. New-Look North & South Magazine Hits Shelves

One of New Zealand’s most iconic magazines, North & South, is back on the shelves this week – with new independent ownership. The magazine, which has set the benchmark for investigative journalism in New Zealand since 1986, relaunches this week, ensuring ... More>>

Howard Davis: Three New Art Books for Xmas

Massey University and Te Papa Presses have published three new art books just in time for Xmas: Dick Frizzell's Me, According to the History of Art, Railways Studios, celebrating unique examples of government-sponsored advertising and design, and Nature - Stilled, Jane Ussher's extraordinary photographs of flora and fauna from the museum's natural history collections.
More>>

Howard Davis: Troy Kingi Rules The San Fran

The award-winning Northland musician performed songs from his new record The Ghost of Freddie Cesar, the fourth installment in his 10/10/10 series - ten albums in ten years in ten genres. More>>

Howard Davis: The Phoenix Foundation Rises From The Ashes (& Chris O'Connor Talks)

Simultaneously dreamy and structured, understated and subtle, spacious and hypnotic, The Phoenix Foundation's new album Lifeline includes gorgeous vocal harmonies, lilting lyrics with no lack of wry, self-deprecating humour, and gently weeping guitar parts. More>>

 
 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • CULTURE
  • HEALTH
  • EDUCATION
 
 
  • Wellington
  • Christchurch
  • Auckland