Friday, July 09, 2010


Looking through some old slides the other day, we came across this sequence of Giovanni Intra installing Pink Batts. Writer, artist, gallery director, but insulation installer? In fact he was creating his peep-hole work Golden Evenings for the 1994 exhibition Art Now. Displayed in the old National Art Gallery building in Buckle Street and curated by Christina Barton, it was billed as the Museum of New Zealand’s first ‘Biennial of Contemporary Art’.

As we have seen many times, it is one thing to tout the future and another to make it real. As you have probably guessed, the Art Now Biennial was the only one of its kind and pretty much the last time the Museum of New Zealand (Te Papa) claimed it would serve up contemporary art on a regular basis.

At the time Chief Executive Cheryll Sotheran did say, “Creativity and invention are crucial to an organisation aiming to change public perception of what museums can do and be for the communities they serve.”

Nice one Cheryll.

COMMENTS:  Robert Leonard has suggested that 'Giovanni would have been installing the Batts not for Art Now at MONZ,  but for his work in a 1994 group show at Artspace called n+1 cultures (on art and science). It had Batts as a visible element.' Given our track record, he is probably right, although our slide was marked Art Now. As for the rest, as they say - we stand by our story.