… if you knew me

Photos from …. if you knew me, curated by me at DEMO 25 October 2018

My thanks to Denise Batchelor, Mark Harvey and Gitanjali Bhatt for contributing their work for this exhibtion

breathe and milk
left; Denise Bachelor, Just Breathe. right; Jill Sorensen Milk Bottle. wall; Gitanjali Bhatt, The Hunt

 

milk and wrestle
left; Mark Harvey Weed Wrestle. far left; Gitanjali Bhatt, The Hunt. front; Jill Sorensen Milk Bottle, wall;

 

Screen Shot 2018-10-30 at 7.21.32 PM

 

 

 

 

 

….if you knew me.

I have curated an exhibtion at DEMO, Auckland NZ

invite A4 final

In 21st-century suddenly everyone cares about climate and how it might or might not be changing, the atmosphere is filled not just with CO2, but with information and misinformation, blame, denial and handwringing. Beneath this cloud of discord, hype and anxiety we collectively and individually face a bewildering array of options and responsibilities.

The artists in If You Knew Me variously observe, reflect upon and engage with the increasingly familiar moments of awkwardness and uncertainty that now populate daily life. Small but uncomfortable choices and decisions that prickle us as we struggle to negotiate how we should now live as human-people in the epoch variously named the Anthropocene, the Capitalocene or the less pronounceable Chthulucence[1] proposed by Donna Haraway. Uncomfortable with the ‘Anthropos’ of Anthropocene, Haraway suggests that the current moment is not so much an era in itself but an interlude between the benevolent Holocene and a yet to be definitively named future epoch, a hiatus she terms “The Great Dithering… a time of ineffective and widespread anxiety about environmental destruction”[2]. A stuttering pause in which we know something must be done but are not sure how to do it, who should do it or what should be done. An extended moment of bewilderment as we see the reliable face of Nature, backdrop and resource of our human drama, dissolve into a disinterested biosphere, a cyclic network of entities and agencies in which we are one of many presences. In this version of ‘world’ there is no ‘infinite earthly resource’ and no ‘away’ between which to cradle the machine of human progress. With no valid prop for human exceptionalism other than self-interest and habit we are left to navigate an abrupt transition from a Nature we once stepped-upon, to a teeming biosphere within which we must negotiate a human niche.

The four artists in If You Knew Me engage with digital video, using the medium to acutely observe moments in which we dither in the face of mundane activities once considered inconsequential,  now appear suddenly suspect or even duplicitous.

 

 

 

[1] Donna Jeanne Haraway, Staying with the Trouble: Making Kin in the Chthulucene, Experimental Futures Technological Lives, Scientific Arts, Anthropological Voices (Durham London: Duke University Press, 2016).

In the term Chthulucence Haraway invokes the Chthonic ones, the ancient, ancestral powers of the earth, who cannot be contained or ignored.

[2] Haraway.

Blanket Hut

conversations about intimacy and closeness with all who share our biosphere

2018-09-14 10.00.18
Conversation pit #4 Blanket Hut: Sharing in an ntimateI World

A blanket hut constructed in my lounge.

Rules of construction: nothing is bought. nothing is cut. no holes are made. everything can be returned unchanged to its former use.

Conversation pit #4: Blanket Hut: sharing in an intimate world

blanket pile

Blanket Hut: sharing in an intimate world acknowledges the impossibility of maintaining an anthropocentric worldview[1] in an era of eco-crisis and invites us to tease out ways to orient ourselves within a biosphere in which we are continuous with the network of entities we previously called nature. If you are interested in joining this conversation please message me or leave a comment here and I will get back to you. full details for this Conversation here.

[1] In which Humans are separate from the Nature, a construction in which the natural world exists over yonder, providing both resource and backdrop for human activities.

 

Golden American Saddlebred

DSC_0069

I got this horse in a mixed set of plastic animals at a $2 shop. He stands 14cm high and is slightly unbalenced, requiring a firm bend to his rear legs to get him to balence. He has become something of a muse for me, summing up the blend of fantasy, romance, deceit,  history and genetic manipulation that forms the basis of our relationship with the natural world.

The latest incarnation of my muse, curently in process, is to be a lifesized version sewed from tulle. To understand my horse more fully, and to find out what size to make him, I decided to seek out his bloodline. after extensive research i have concluded that he is a Golden American Saddlebred. Standing upright he would be 16 hands (1602mm). rearing up he is 3m in height, a 21:1 scale from my model.


The Oklahoma State University Breeds of Livestock, Department of Animal Science, describes the Golden American Saddlebred thus:

What does one look for in a Golden American Saddlebred? First and foremost, is conformation. A beautifully shaped, well-proportioned head is a must. The ears are small, alert, and placed at the top of the head. The neck is long, and well-arched, with a smooth clean throatlatch. The eye is bold, bright, and intelligent. Well-sloped shoulders and sharp withers well above the height of the hips is characteristic. The croup is long and level with the tail coming out high, and the hind quarters are well muscled to the hocks. The back is short and strong. The long legs are straight with long sloping pasterns that are so necessary for an easy, well cushioned ride. The shallow, full-sprung rib cage make the barrel of the Saddlebred more rounded than in other breeds. Height is generally from 15 to 17 hands and weight from 1000 to 1200 pounds.

The complete picture of Golden Saddlebred should be one of refinement, smoothness and strength. Coloring can vary from cream to copper and all shades in between. However, the ideal color is that of the untarnished gold coin. Eyes must be brown or dark. White markings on the face and legs are allowyyed, but no spots. Mane and tail should be white and purity is desirable.

http://www.ansi.okstate.edu/breeds/horses/goldenamericansaddlebred