Monday, March 19, 2012

Upbeat downtown

If you had any doubts about the enlivening power of art you would have put them aside if you’d been at the Left Bank on Friday. Not the suave French job but the entirely (with the exception of Robert Heald’s Gallery) grotty Left Bank off Cuba Mall in Wellington. Thanks to a local developer (whom every one was polite enough not to mention was in fact the initial developer of the Left Bank), Massey's Heather Galbraith was able to curate a three person event there that put the space into an entirely new light. Smartly installed in the available space were a videoed performance by Melissa Irving, a light and sound work by Clinton Watkins and a musical performance by Olivia Webb. Watkins’ work even managed to transformed the seedy ‘tunnel’ between Cuba and Victoria Streets into a light and sound show reminiscent of the credits for Gaspar Noe's Enter the void

People turned up too, we reckon at least 200 and probably more. It reminded us of an earlier series of events Concrete deal back in the 1990s when the James Smith car park was used for temporary installations. 

And nice to see Massey coming down off its hill. Last time, after One Day Sculpture, they retreated right back up again. This time, Galbraith told the crowd, they were in the downtown business for the long-haul. 
Images: Left Clinton Watkins' light and sound work and right watching Melissa Irving's video