Thursday, November 21, 2013

They walk among us

It’s now 15 months since the last Walters Prize was awarded. That means the clock is ticking on the two-year period from which exhibitions will be considered the next time round.  We figure it's runs from May 2012 to May 2014 so we're a year and a half in. So the secret panel is out there somewhere. Why we can't know who they are is something to do with their fear of being 'lobbied', although you would normally think the more input committees like this had the better.

So far as the public is concerned at least there have been no changes announced to the rules of the Walters Prize. So the big issue over whether they are choosing a specific exhibition or basing their selection on a significant contribution made over the past two years is still in the air. We also assume the who-needs-to-see-art-to-judge-it approach favoured by the last selection panel is still in place.
The next time round may also reveal whether the Walters Prize follows an Olympic or Nobel model i.e. can someone win it twice. We know from Peter Robinson and John Reynolds that you can have at least two opportunities to be in to win and Kate Newby’s installation in Brussels would a contender if a double is possible and you’d have to put Francis Upritchard in there too. And of course the Michael Stevenson yes you're-in-no-you're-not embarrassment will rear its head again thanks to Proof of the Devil at Michael Lett, his Portikus project and the exhibition in Mexico City.

There’s certainly no shortage of great shows to choose from.

Luke Willis Thompson’s Untitled performance as part of the Auckland Art Gallery’s Chartwell collection exhibition Made active

Simon Denny’s All you need is data: the DLD 2012 Conference REDUX rerun at the Petzel gallery in NY and his Dot Com exhibition in Vienna

Fiona Connor’s Untitled (mural design) project at the Dunedin Public Art Gallery

Joe Sheehan’s  The quick and the dead at the Tim Melville Gallery and his Pataka survey show

Shane Cotton’s touring exhibition The hanging sky

Alex Montieth at the MMK in Frankfurt

Ronnie van Hout's two gallery extravaganza I've seen things at the Dowse