On not forgetting: Before relational aesthetics became well articulated in international critical discourse, performance-based practices occupied similar contentious territory.
New Zealand's post-object art of the Seventies; its successes, critiques and pitfalls remain of critical relevance to subsequent generations of artists - including the artists gathered for this Enjoy exhibition. Each has developed a practice that is process-based and participatory. Each occupies a place in contemporary art's rich history of critiquing art objects and the capitalist system that art and its institutions are aligned with.
Unpacking some key ideas involved in Every Now, & Then involved the use of the following 'tion' words: situation, participation, relation, collaboration and, lastly, curation.
Melanie Oliver sought to examine the nature of contemporary relational practices, audience participation and collaboration. Her curatorial project highlighted three diverse Wellington-based artist practices: Louise Menzies, Ella Bella Moonshine Reed and The Association of Collaboration. Oliver also offered an historical frame of reference through the work of David Mealing, a prominent 1970's New Zealand artist.
New works made for the Enjoy show included delivery of a social history, a critique of the institutional site and creation of new nebulous collaborative projects. Mealing's works were illustrated through documentation, underpinning the curator's interest in the comparisons between some critical historical and current conceptual art. Breadline by David Mealing was also screened in the New Zealand Film Archive Taranaki Street Window for the duration of the show.
Curated by Melanie Oliver
Edited by Paula Booker
"Rather than designing happy, harmonious projects, the artists featured in Every Now, and Then develop and maintain social tension within their work, addressing the political aspects of communication that are often overlooked."
Curator Melanie Oliver