Thursday, December 04, 2014

Line up

Anyone in the museum business will tell you making money out of blockbuster touring shows is almost impossible. The real trick is not to lose too much as Te Papa’s Mike Houlihan discovered. Rodney Wilson must have missed the meeting and made a killing with his Claude Monet painter of light show in the mid-eighties. His recipe was a mix of heady sponsorship and excellent timing. With that in mind, here’s a bunch of exhibition ideas (budgets not included) that we reckon could get queues around the block.

Reverse Te Maori: 30 of the greatest Maori objects borrowed from collections outside New Zealand and brought home to tour the main cities.

The clock: Christian Marclay’s 24-hour film of snippets from world cinema history. A fascinating crowd pleaser. All the museum pros may have seen it but most NZers will not have had the pleasure.

Spectacle! How the spectacular and the extreme are shaping art. Kara Walker's Sugar sphinx could be the touchstone.

Pierre Huyghe: There's a big show now in LA but any selection would stun NZ audiences. Leave it to an artist to feature animals, insects, fish and other creatures in a strange and unique system. 

Sex and Death: An exhibition selected by David Walsh and the staff of MONA in Hobart. They're our neighbours and this is their specialist topic.

50 works of art to see before you die: This is pure packaging so pick a new title for a start. Then get a Louise Bourgeois Spider, Douglas Gordon's 24 hour Psycho and maybe Andres Serrano's Piss Christ. Let NZ audiences catch up.

Treasures from the Australian National Gallery: It's just waiting to be done. They're neighbours and they've got a lot of great stuff. From Tiepolo via Monet to Jackson Pollock, Emily Kame Kngwarreye and Andy Warhol.