Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Time to get moving

Robert Leonard’s inclusion of film alongside painting, drawing and photography in his exhibition Unseen city at Te Uru is right on the button. He’s also put Leon Narbey together with Laszlo Moholy-Nagy in the City Gallery theatre screening. Mostly art museums have been slow to welcome the history of film into their galleries and so the idea of Len Lye’s films always being on permanent display in major NZ galleries in the same way Colin McCahon or Rita Angus would be is still some way off. Has Vincent Ward’s In Spring one plants alone ever been incorporated into a permanent display of NZ art? Time it was. The Pompidou Centre is ahead of the game in this respect. Most of the topic galleries have film incorporated as part of the display from very Len Lye-looking effort Ballet mecanique by Fernand Leger in 1924 to Marcel Duchamp and Isidore Isou. And the visitors? They just took the mix as the most natural thing in the world.

Images: film as part of the Pompidou's permanent collection display. Left to right top to bottom, Constantine Brancusi and Laszlo Moholy-Nagy, Dziga Verton, Marchel Duchamp and Nicholas Schoffer