Simon Kaan: The Asian | Anna Muirhead: Polytears | Bryce Galloway: Same, Same (Incredibly Hot Sex with Hideous People) | James Voller: Displacement
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This month the Blue Oyster is pleased to present the exhibitions Simon Kaan: The Asian, Anna Muirhead: Polytears and Bryce Galloway: Same Same (Incredibly Hot Sex with Hideous People) and a new public artwork by James Voller: Displacement.
Concerned at different levels with the multifarious construction and performance of identity Kaan, Muirhead and Galloway, through very different mediums, explore the histories, domestic and public circumstances and politics that impact on the construction our lives. The exhibitions will open on Tuesday 20 April at 5:30pm and run until 15 April.
For his work The Asian Simon Kaan invites visitors to the Blue Oyster to have lunch with him via Skype. For the month of the exhibition, the upper gallery of Blue Oyster will become a virtual and literal extension of The Asian, a restaurant located across the road from the Blue Oyster. Kaan uses The Asian as a site for cultural archeology, where everything from the food to the paintings on the walls reference the artist's past and provoke self exploration. Kaan asks: “am I at home here?” By involving visitors in a physical, performative way Kaan aims to reinstate the importance of the daily ritual of sitting together at a table, eating and talking. Communication is at the center of this work, both with the new and fractured avenues introduced by technology and as the substance of the artwork.
Anna Muirhead carves classical European garden furniture from humble, disposable, cardboard. Gardens and monuments exist as public allegories of the social politic of a particular era. Muirhead has transferred these inherited forms into a contemporary context questioning ideas of value, both material and ideological. Polytears traces shifts in uses of public space, which are now occupied less by grandiose water fountains and more by piles of cardboard recycling.
Bryce Galloway's Same Same (Incredibly Hot Sex with Hideous People) takes its title from the zine Galloway publishes and distributes in Wellington. After chequered beginnings, the theme and narrative of the zine has come to be determined by autobiographical elements from Galloway's life. Same Same (Incredibly Hot Sex with Hideous People) is confessional and darkly funny, aiming for nothing less than personal catharsis in the hope that readers will see something very authentic and familiar in his day-to-day trials and tribulations. By focusing on the everyday Galloway challenges the generalisations of theory. This self examination is such ready material for an exploration of embarrassment and the social-ego. A reading room, with hot coffee, will be constructed in the gallery where visitors can peruse back copies of the zine and related material: posters, photographs and wall drawings. Same Same is presented with support from Massey University, Wellington.
Also opening on Tuesday 20 April is Displacement public artwork by James Voller on the facade of the building at 145 High St on the corner of High and Manse Streets. Voller's photographic interventions into public spaces, displace images of suburban housing into an urban environment by overlaying one-to-one scale black and white photographs of typical New Zealand residential building details onto commercial spaces. These depictions of a suburban lifestyle become lost and dislocated in this decaying urban environment hinting at the decreasing accessibility of the quarter-acre dream.
Listen to Simon and James talking with Lynn Freeman on Radio New Zealand.