Thursday, July 28, 2011

Water, water everywhere

The City Gallery is full of surprises. For years they have restricted information about their forthcoming exhibitions like misers hoarding gold pieces so they can unleash a marketing blitz. That's changed if the up-coming exhibition Oceania is anything to go by. Not only is the web site already up and running, it includes a good range of images of items that will be on show (the exhibition is ‘shared’ with Te Papa – City Gallery new, Te Papa old) along with a blow by blow account of what you will see when you enter the galleries. Has this ever been done before? And we are talking good old fashioned narrative. “With their eyes closed, the subjects in Fiona Pardington's photographs embody the dreams, memories and imaginings of generations of Pacific peoples. … At the entrance to the gallery, Michel Tuffery's energetic O le Povi Pusa Ma'ataua … At the rear of the gallery is a different kind of group portrait. Paratene Matchitt's Taunga Waka…” OK the whole show isn’t notated like this but you can get a very good idea of what you will be spending your money on (Single adults $10, Kids under 15 are free).

The City Gallery will also be showing Ralph Hotere’s Black Phoenix. We've always thought this work should have been permanently installed when Te Papa opened (but they went with Jeff Thomson’s corrugated iron covered Holden instead.) From memory Black Phoenix has only had a couple of outings over the last 20 or so years since being purchased for the National collection back in 1988. 

For some inexplicable reason Oceania opens the same weekend as the Auckland Art Fair, 6 August.