Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Stand up

Well you have to hand it to Alastair Carruthers, Chair of Creative New Zealand. Not only did CNZ put up a video tour of the Contact exhibition in the Frankfurter Kunstverein on YouTube just days after the opening, but Carruthers stepped up with Haniko Te Kurapa and fronted it himself. The two give a very useful tour of the show talking with the curator Leonhard Emmerling and the Kunstverein director Holger Kube Ventura who also commented on the exhibition’s themes. “It’s completely different to what we had before … with the other shows of guest of honour countries…. It’s a much more political show … with Iceland I was wondering why are there not any political questions from Iceland? It is just the opposite here.” 

So did CNZ stand behind the politics of the artists, curators and especially the hard-hitting Peter Robinson work with the swastika? They did indeed. Robinson’s paintings are featured full frame with Carruthers describing them as a “series of confrontations laid down by Peter Robinson with his extremely provocative images. A remarkable thing, to not just present a Maori Pakeha confrontation, but [also] to bring a swastika to Germany, does feel kind of bold.” 

Say what you like about Creative New Zealand (and we have at times) you couldn’t expect anything more from your arts funding body than this. 

Image: Alastair Carruthers (left), stands in front of work by Judy Millar, talking to Kunstverein director Holger Kube Ventura