Exhibition Essays

2003 Reviews

March 2003

Summer Residency by Siv B. Fjaerestad

Louise Menzies

For the last six weeks Siv has been holed up at the Enjoy Gallery constructing her impressions of one of New Zealand's die hard cultural themes: sport.

Traveling from Norway, her observations of observing manifest around that wonderful notion of the spectacle. Two models of partial grandstands slope up at either end of the L-shaped space evoking architectural structures as old as the colosseum. One carefully covered in astroturf and the other adorned with sawdust, paper bags full of construction residue and lumps of lint. Fold out plastic chairs are provided for viewing, at which a video camera is purposefully trained. The gallery becomes an arena for watching and being watched. Being sporty herself, Siv is enthusiastic about the communal activity of watching, and whether it's grandstands or T.V. sets, she has long been interested in spectatorship.

With a history of the manipulating everyday materials and mass-produced domestic items, the challenging relationships between forms and materials created in her current arrangement raise tensions between public and private spaces as well as processes of construction and decay. Moving between the comfort of last week's laundry and the aggression of the sony handycam, personal and common references make this both accessible and challenging. By importing sporting culture into the art gallery the relevance of social voyeurism in both micro and macro environments is dealt with intelligently. Siv has been watching carefully. Nice work.