Friday, May 04, 2012

Once removed

Today’s post has prompted a reply from the Auckland Art Gallery and they have removed themselves from the Walters Prize did-they-see-it-did-they-not debate. Well they would, wouldn't they. Here’s Auckland Art Gallery Director Chris Saines on the subject. 

 “The Gallery appoints a wholly independent jury and all we ask is that they meet the criteria of the Prize award in making their nominations (exhibited within the last two years etc). The Gallery does not query the selection further or seek details as to how or why decisions have been reached over the day they meet. The jury are required to write a joint 'statement' and that is the end of their public role until the exhibition opens (4 August) and they contribute to the public programme.” 

 Hmmm. We can remember at least one selection ‘query’ was made by the Gallery. How about 2010 when Michael Stevenson was dropped by the Auckland Art Gallery over budget concerns after being selected by the jurors? 

Moving on. Wednesday we’ll give you the best guess on how many jurors actually saw the exhibitions that they chose as the best shows over the last two years. 

Does any of this matter? Well the Auckland Art Gallery certainly seems to act as though it does. For the last five Walters Prizes they have flown a high-profile judge half way round the world to pick the winner from specially staged exhibitions. They have not asked them do it at home from photographs. 

So anyone who has info on which jurors were where when the four finalist exhibitions were on, let us know and we’ll put it into the mix. 

The jurors were: Gwyneth Porter, David Cross, Aaron Kreisler and Kate Montgomery. 
The exhibitons: Introductory logic video tutorial, shown at Artspace, Sydney (5 March-10 April 2010) Floor Resistance, shown at Hebbel Am Ufer, HAU 3, Berlin, (25 June 2011) Crawl out your window, shown at Gesellschaft für aktuelle Kunst GAK, Bremen (28 August-7 November 2010) Fanta Silver and Song, shown at Gertrude Contemporary, Melbourne (4 February-5 March 2011)