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Be the first to experience Lasertag


Share some Common Ground and be the first to experience LASERTAG

Common Ground: Via Grafik meets Cut Collective
13 February – 17 May 2009 / FREE ENTRY
In co-operation with the Goethe-Institut and ZM
TheNewDowse / 45 Laings Road Lower Hutt /

Street art spreads through the galleries, walls and courtyard of TheNewDowse in Common Ground, a collaborative exhibition from Germany’s Via Grafik and NZ’s own Cut Collective.

Based around the idea: ‘keep the wall grey and the mind will follow’, Common Ground incorporates wall paintings, stencils, sculptural installations and a full-to-bursting events programme celebrating street culture. Two ‘Hit the Wall’ sites expand the show into neighbouring gallery areas, with one site reserved for the winner of a graphics competition which gives an emerging artist/designer the opportunity to have work displayed alongside established artists. School children get their chance to have work in public view with a street mural project led by Keep Hutt City Beautiful.

On opening night Friday 13 February from 8-11pm, Via Grafik and Cut Collective will lead the public through an explosive new artform – LASERTAG. Making its first appearance in NZ right here in Lower Hutt thanks to AVS, LASERTAG uses lasers instead of spray paint to create live, legal, temporary tags on a huge scale. The audience is encouraged to join in, to the sounds of Olmecha Soundsystem with NZ beatbox champ King Homeboy, Mighty Asterix and local DJs in the Red Bull lounge. There’ll also be Empire Skate demos, and food and drink caravans to keep the creative sparks firing at this free event.

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LASERTAG also features at Cuba St Carnival on 21 February, where Via Grafik and Cut Collective will decorate a GO Wellington bus.

Street artists often tread a fine line between creation and disruption. Via Grafik’s Leo Volland (BOE) notes “There are guys who make a living out of selling their works on auctions and in galleries as well as guys who break into yards to paint a train”. Emerging from the graffiti movement at the end of the 1980s, is street art a valid reclamation of public space - or reckless vandalism? Cut Collective’s Gary Yong (Enforce One) says “People are so used to advertisements in the public arena that they’re not sure how to react to artistic expression when it arises”.

The Common Ground opening weekend rounds off with a panel discussion on the role and status of street art on Sunday 15 February. Hosted by artist/writer Jo Randerson, the panel includes street artists from Cut Collective and Via Grafik, community youth workers, graffiti eradication specialists, media commentators and public space designers/architects.

Throughout Sundays in March, youth project Secret Level run DJ Scratch Sessions in TheNewDowse courtyard, adding a hiphop soundtrack to the gallery experience. Also featured alongside Common Ground is Board Art 08, a collection of 40 skate deck designs from CoCA in Christchurch, with an accompanying deck design workshop in April.


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