A Museum of Obsessions
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A Museum of Obsessions pays homage to the late swiss curator Harald Szeemann who coined the phrase and established the kind of speculative thought that drives contemporary curatorial practice. Szeemann identified a ‘museum of obsessions’ as the space that artists occupy when they are driven by the intense individual energies of obsession to create their own intellectual and sensorial worlds. Picking up and expanding on this idea, curator Jodie Dalgleish brings together fourteen artists whose work manifests the creative obsession that drives artistic practice and generates concepts of the self.
Seven Dunedin-based artists present their works. Michael Morley has kept hair cut from his head over the last 20 years and displays it in a glass dome, referencing the fetishism of memorial objects and dark magic while making a quasi-scientific record of a personal process of change. Victoria McIntosh combines her own hair with antique icing nozzles to make objects that create a personal history. Angela Lyon’s collected images of Elvis as well as her own photographs and drawings of herself as the King of Rock 'n' Roll tumble from the walls and into the gallery. James Robinson shows evidence of an obsessive drawing practice that opens psychological territories to investigation. Nigel Bunn has drawn from his collection of all kinds of obsolete audio, image making and scientific equipment to create and present an experimental frequency modulated image-making ‘machine’ and its jewel-like paintings. Claire Beynon has made hundreds of paper boats and presents them as the same quiet film-subjects as those released under the ice in Antarctica in 2008 and Fiona Shaw presents one of her exquisite hand-made books and her experiments into the many surfaces she can create with different printmaking techniques.
Christchurch-based artist Scott Flanagan has transformed the complete printed text of New Zealand’s anti-terrorist legislation by weaving it into a large and ephemeral paper sail. Darren Glass (Auckland) presents a group of working drawings and tiny experimental cameras as evidence of his obsession with a photograph’s potential to capture new and unexpected ways of seeing. Musician and artist Jeff Henderson (Wellington) presents huge collages that somehow follow the form of his improvised music and collage-based scores. David Clegg (New Plymouth) offers viewers the opportunity to both review and reconstruct his visual and aural record of the repeated rhythms of the particular events that occurred in Parque Bustamante in Santiago, Chile between 3:30 and 4:00 pm on 19 September 2006. Alex Mackinnon (Greece) has collected the sounds of bells and chanting that typify Greek-Orthodox church celebrations in a haunting sound work that echoes around the gallery. Ben Pearce (Hastings) provides evidence of the way in which his working process materialises his obsession with an adult remembrance of childhood and Peter Wegner (USA) continues his process of reconfiguring the world as ‘terra firma incognita’ with his version of the interior American West.
Download the catalogue in pdf format.
A web site documents and expands the exhibition at http://museumofobsessions.ning.com.
Proudly supported by Lion Foundation.