Present Tense : Wahine Toi Aotearoa

upcoming
25 Oct – 23 Nov

Designers Speak (Up)

OPENING 5:30 PM, THURSDAY 24 OCTOBER

This iteration of Present Tense : Wāhine Toi Aotearoa at Enjoy is the last stop on a touring exhibition of posters by more than 100 women and non-binary designers, generated through an open call by Designers Speak (Up) earlier this year.

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Founded by designer and typographer Catherine Griffiths, Designers Speak (Up) began in 2018 as a response to the Designers Institute of New Zealand’s ongoing failure to recognise women’s contributions to and achievements within the design landscape in Aotearoa New Zealand. Since then, the initiative has strived to be an “open platform for Aotearoa New Zealand designers to have a voice.”

Exhibition contributors were given the provocation to explore any socio-political or cultural issue through the poster medium. Working with white and the digital colour “Hexadecimal Red #ff333”, the submissions have a diverse range of aesthetics and subject matter. Together, they showcase a variety of creative practices, and respond to a wide range of contexts that affect women’s lives, as individuals and within communities. They are presented as gifs, silkscreen prints and digital files. 

Over the past eight months, these poster works have been showcased on social media and on the designerspeakup.nz website, as well as in galleries, public sites and creative spaces.

Beginning with an exhibition in Kirikiriroa Hamilton at RAMP Gallery in April 2019, Present Tense : Wāhine Toi Aotearoa has been exhibited at Laurel Projects, Ōtepoti Dunedin; Te Pu o Wheke Arts, Kaikohe; Ilam Campus Gallery, Ōtautahi Christchurch; and on Phantom Billboards in Britomart, Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland. The project has been accompanied by writing from women artists, designers, critics and curators, who have contributed critical responses and further discourse to this online archive.

This exhibition has been described by its organisers as a hīkoi, and hosting the last iteration of it prompts the question: what happens now at the end of the journey? The project itself has expanded from a protest into a new space for the design community. During the exhibition at Enjoy, an accompanying public programme will explore the potential of this new space and what might happen within—and beyond it—in the future to pursue new dialogues in design.

ABOUT THE ARTISTS

Designers included are: Aakifa Chida, Aakifa Chida, Afifa Chida, ĀKAU Wāhine, Alessandra Banal (Archi), Alice Connew, Alice McKeown, Alice Murray, Alisha Henry, Amy Yalland, Angela Lynskey, Angelika Smuga, Anna Hayes, Anna Wilkinson, Annabel Cave, Anushka Harrison, Beatrice Chua, Caitlin Rassie, Carol Green, Caroline Konarkowska ,Caroline Powley, Catherine Griffiths, Catherine Macdonald, Cindy Tan, Claudia Henty, Corinne Knott, Diana Albarrán González, Eden Kleiman, Elisapeta Hinemoa Heta, Ella Sutherland, Ellyse Randrup, Emily O’Hara, Emma Kaniuk {AKIN},Emma Marriott, Emma Rogan, Erin Broughton, Erin Joyce, Eva Charlton, Fay McAlpine, Fiona Jack, Fiona Lascelles, Georgia Cantlon, Hina Nasir, Huriana Kopeke-Te Aho, JadeTang-Taylor, Janelle Rodrigues, Jeanie Tseng, Jenn McEwan, Jenna Hagan, Jessica Armstrong, Jessica Holdaway, Jessica Lamont, Jinki Cambronero, Jo Bailey, Jordan Bostock, Josephine Ross, Kalee Jackson, Karen Hermon, Kate Cameron-Donald, Kate Darby, Kate Hursthouse, Kathleen Riach, Kathy Ho, Katie Kerr, Katie Paton, Kelsey O’Hagan, Kimberley Zhou, Kyra Ta-Waka Clarke, Laura Griffiths, Leah Surynt, Liane McGee, Lucie Blaževská, Mailin Lemke, Margaret Cochran, Maria Philp, Marie Holdaway, Mary Faber, Megan MacKay, Mel Banfield, Michelle Chang, Nell May, Nicola Devine, Nicole Phillips, Nikki Apse, Non Disclosure, Petra Scheuber, Pipi Press, Pon Huey Min, Rebecca Steedman, Renee Feith, Romina Romero, Samai Azeez, Sarah Callesen, Sarah Gladwell, Sarah Maxey, Sarah Turner, Shabnam Shiwan, Sienna Mark-Brown, Siran Li & Momo Xie, Sita Narsai, Sofia Duganova, Sonya Lacey, Tana Mitchell {AKIN}, Trudi Hewitt, Unattributed, Xanthe Copeland, Zara Olifent, Zoe Hikairo Morehu, Zofia Seymour.

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Hollow pony

Louisa Beatty, Local foley, 2019, digital video, still. Image courtesy of the artist.

Louisa Beatty, Local foley, 2019, digital video, still. Image courtesy of the artist.

upcoming
25 Oct – 23 Nov

David Ed Cooper, Louisa Beatty

OPENING 5:30 PM, THURSDAY 24 OCTOBER

Technologies are bound to bound to fail. Screens crack, cables get shredded, old models are quickly replaced by newer ones, or things just don’t work as they should. A broad set of discourses and industries so optimistic in the claims they make—to make life better, easier, more efficient—and so embedded within capitalist logics of growth, innovation and progress cannot help but embarrass themselves when things go awry. For Louisa Beatty and David Ed Cooper, there’s potential in failure. Deploying dry humour and improvisation, both artists alter, remake and reconfigure everyday technologies, playfully exposing the ideological mechanisms at play in the production of these objects, and motioning towards a radically altered relation to technology and the world.

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David Ed Cooper produces machines designed to misbehave and surprise. For Hollow pony, Cooper has produced a set of motorised ironing boards. A common household object associated with a menial and repetitive form of domestic labour, the boards are here made lively and impish, hopping around the space. Alongside Cooper’s ironing boards is a series of paintings, collectively titled double negative, produced through the application of pigment onto the reverse of Duraseal. Applied directly onto the gallery’s walls, Cooper’s works treat painting as a technology—with a limited set of inputs and desired outcomes. Here, the artist rearranges the essential elements of the medium—reversing the substrate so that paint faces both the walls and the viewer and locking the image behind a plastic covering—a poorly archived static moment in time.

Louisa Beatty’s work is informed by the visual language of film set-design and cheaply produced, widely available camouflaged objects. Beatty’s are flawed impressions, limp approximations of things in the world which fall short of their mimetic aspirations. Here, a cardboard box, upon which is an image of a waterfall, conceals a small electric water pump. Vinyl printed with a wooden veneer design is applied to a cardboard box cabinet, inside of which a television plays clips of improvised foley effects. Drawing upon an archive of fakery, Beatty’s works test the limits of recognition, asking how far removed an object might be taken from its context and retain something of its affect and form.

Both commercial film and consumer technology operate by concealing their own production. Surfaces, in each, are to be sleek, shiny, transitions seamless, and the mechanical workings, as well as the labour required for producing things, is to be made as invisible as possible. In Hollow pony, stuttering, glitching and deliberate breakdown are tools to demystify the ideological machinations of the everyday. Beatty and Cooper animate that which, through familiarity, seems static in life, with a view towards reorienting our relation to these artifacts—from a relation of mastery over the world and the objects within it, to one of dwelling with them and their failures.

Curated by Simon Gennard

ABOUT THE ARTISTS

Louisa Beatty currently lives in Pōneke Wellington. Working across media, she employs sound, video, sculpture and installation. Working with everyday objects and environments, Beatty elevates and reworks them into her multimedia practice embracing ingenuity and humour. She has a BFA(Hons) from Massey University Wellington. Previous exhibitions include Refurbish (with Aria McInnes and Jelly O’Shea), Hunters and Collectors, Pōneke, 2019; Circular Breathing, DIRT, Pōneke, 2018; Louisa Beatty, MEANWHILE, Pōneke, 2018.

Born in South Africa, based in Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland, David Ed Cooper's practice in painting and sculpture is an ongoing exercise of what he calls a 'new bruxism'. A grinding of teeth; a compression of fiction in the mouth of capitalist realism and cultural homogeneity. What remains are the ghosts of our interactions and failures. To come; the hauntings of a possible future. David graduated with a BFA (Hons) from Elam School of Fine Arts, University of Auckland in 2013. Previous exhibitions include Sometime, someday, when all is said and done (group), RM, Tāmaki Makaurau, 2019; fine moon, poor tuning (group), MEANWHILE, Pōneke Wellington, 2018; We didn’t feel like ourselves, Window, Tāmaki Makaurau, 2016; Double Negative, LOFT JERVOIS, Tāmaki Makaurau, 2015; RE:400. (with James Wylie), Pilot, Kirikiriroa Hamilton, 2014; International Artists Initiated (with James Wylie), David Dale Gallery, Glasgow, 2013.

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