Thursday, February 02, 2012

Enter the void

Last week we went into the Auckland Art Gallery and didn’t see any art. OK, we saw that animated flower that hangs from the ceiling but nothing else. We were there for lunch and that meant only going through the two main foyers. No art in the lower foyer, no art in the upper foyer and no art in the restaurant. Because we only had time for lunch we literally visited the Auckland Art Gallery and saw no art. Weird. 

You can see the problem. These large foyers (which we bet have been included in the touted 50% increase in space allocated to exhibiting art) have been architected to be pro-events and functions and aggressively anti-art. The stone walls are broken up, the ceiling is extravagantly high, the space is functionally a gathering area or through-way. This is not a place for heavy sculpture or sprawling installations. Let's see how the AAG tackles things when the flowers come down. Hopefully it won't slip into the generic two-or-three-a-year ‘Dome projects’ so loved by institutions.
Images: Top AAG foyer, bottom MoMA foyer (hint).