Monday, August 02, 2010

New news on the rumour mill

It feels like time is running out for the New Gallery, the contemporary art arm of the Auckland Art Gallery. As the rebuilding of the main gallery site comes closer to completion, rumours about the fate of the New take on more urgency. An old telephone exchange building, it was converted in 1995 into a bit a space that has had an uneasy relationship with contemporary art. While some of the architec's excesses have long gone (the nutty diving board for instance) the escalator void still condemns the main exhibition space to its walk-the-donut-shaped fate. On the up-side we’ve seen some great work there and it’s been a physical reminder of the generosity of Jenny Gibbs and Alan Gibbs who let the Auckland Art Gallery have the building for a token sum.

Here are the top five rumours about the fate of the New that have been sent to OTN over the last couple of months in order of likelihood.

• The top floor at least will become offices for the staff of the Auckland Art Gallery.
• It will be offered to Artspace as a venue
• Jenny Gibbs will be left to decide its fate.
• It will be returned to the kind of gallery it was when it originally opened (whatever that means).
• It will remain in its present form.