Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Best bets

The proposals for who's to represent NZ at the 2017 Venice Biennale are all in. Now it's up to a panel to choose the lucky winner and made an announcement in around three weeks.  Then it will be off to Venice for the chosen team to check out the current Biennale and get into the endless, stressful search for an NZ venue.

Maybe you remember that for the 2015 outing we asked for a list of who'd applied and after a year of wrangling were refused it. This time round we'll forgo the wrangling bit and offer a list based on gossip, horse's mouth, second, third and even in one case fourth-hand information. In general we have to hear something from three different sources to think it has a chance of being true. Some of the combinations here are common knowledge; Auckland has been in awe watching Auckland Art Gallery director Rhana Devenport’s campaign for Lisa Reihana's wide-screen spectacular In pursuit of Venus, recently on show at the Gallery. In general terms the male/female balance runs slightly against selecting another guy, especially as three of the four women selected previously have had to share the space. There are probably a few more proposals being put on the table but we reckon this list is getting close.

Billy Apple with curator Adnan Yıldız, Artspace

Ruth Buchanan curator Axel Wieder(Director of Index - The Swedish Contemporary Art Foundation, Stockholm

Alicia Frankovich with curators Abby Cunnane, St Paul's St Gallery and Chiara Giovando, Disjecta, Portland Oregon

Group show (involving McCahon) Simon Rees, Govett-Brewster Art Gallery

Kate Newby with  curators Natasha Conland, Auckland Art Gallery and Nicolaus Schafhausen, Kunstshalle, Vienna

Seung Yul Oh with curator Andrew  Clifford, Te Uru

Dane Mitchell with curators Zara Stanhope, Auckland Art Gallery and Mami Kataoka, Mori Art Museum, Tokyo, Japan

Fiona Pardington with curator Aaron Lister, City Gallery Wellington

Lisa Reihana with curator Rhana Devenport, Auckland Art Gallery

Other possibilities include another group show from Te Papa Senior curator Sarah Farrar (last time she put up five young artists from Michael Lett and Hopmos) or something from Lara Strongman, another Senior curator who'll be looking to make an impact as the Christchurch Art Gallery reopens. There's been chatter about a proposal putting Rohan Wealleans together with Sarah Lucas, last year’s Venice hit and past co-exhibitor with Wealleans, a stunning idea but probably too good to be true. Still waiting for someone to propose Shane Cotton. He could do a terrific show as our first painter but not a murmur on that front.

We’ll make changes and additions if they come to hand.