Press Release – Christchurch City Council
A new exhibition opening at Christchurch Art Gallery this week is inspired by a moment usually hidden from gallery-goers – when a show ends, the doors close and the ‘de-build’ begins. De-Building , which opens on 5 February, brings together works by renowned …
New Christchurch Art Gallery exhibition gives glimpse behind gallery walls
31 January 2011
A new exhibition opening at Christchurch Art Gallery this week is inspired by a moment usually hidden from gallery-goers – when a show ends, the doors close and the ‘de-build’ begins.
De-Building, which opens on 5 February, brings together works by renowned contemporary artists from around the world, including New Zealand, Australia, Europe and United States.
Director Jenny Harper says De-Building is an exhibition where artists get to answer back to architects. It illustrates their love/hate relationship with the ‘perfection’ of the gallery space – the clean white walls, polished floors, even lighting – and its limitations.
“This exhibition examines every aspect of the de-building process – from the crates the art is stored in to the paint on the walls. It’s a fascinating look at what goes on behind the scenes at art galleries.”
The exhibition features three major new installations by Peter Robinson, Callum Morton and Fiona Connor.
Cache by Auckland-based Peter Robinson is a polystyrene and steel installation that fills an entire room. Inspired by a visit to London’s Tate Modern, where he saw famous works fenced in by protective stanchions, Cache is the latest and most spectacular of Robinson’s meditations on the strange objects that galleries employ to protect works of art.
What you bring with you to work by young New Zealand artist Fiona Connor is a series of domestic windows which allows the audience to peer into the Gallery’s hidden spaces. Expect to see dust and debris from the recent Ron Mueck exhibition, rows of labels from a show by American artist Taryn Simon, and a scrawled list written by Civil Defence staff when they occupied the Gallery just after the Canterbury earthquake last September. Connor was nominated for the Walters Prize – New Zealand’s most prestigious contemporary art award – last year.
The third major installation is by Australian artist Callum Morton. His inspiration for Monument #24: Goodies is another common back-of-house sight in art galleries – the large crates that hold precious works. Even by public gallery standards, though, his crate is huge – and there’s something very lively inside it.
On the day the exhibition opens, Morton will also speak about art, architecture and his De-Building installation at 2pm in the Gallery’s Philip Carter Family Auditorium.
De-Building will be at Christchurch Art Gallery Te Puna o Waiwhetu from 5 February until 15 May 2011.