Exhibition Essays

Number Nine

December 2002


Louise Tulett

The next series at Enjoy is Number Nine. Number Nine seeks to foster discourse and critical debate relating to curatorial practice and its role in contemporary New Zealand art practice by providing an opportunity for experimental curation. If you have a concept or view you would like to present, the artefacts to support it and a hankering to contribute to critical debate via a catalogue essay, Number Nine is for you. Enjoy encourages the intellectual, the controversial and the unknown dimension of our cultural production.

The above text is the proposal call for the Number nine series, which ran at Enjoy Public Art Gallery August - December 2002. This is the document to accompany the series and the first printed catalogue produced by Enjoy.

Number Nine set out to cut a new shape between the gallery and the curator, between the gallery and the artist, between presentation and audience. Here through this re- presenting of the seven shows, SPAT by Regan Gentry & Clemency Boyce, I AM by Clem Devine, Satellite City by Rosemary Forde, Curative Acts by Alice Karvelas & Kristelle Plimmer, Projections by Tim Wyborn, Festiva of Enjoy by Richard Whyte & The Wayferer Library and Ex Number Nine by Lissa Mitchell, the questions of curatorship, representation and audience that arose as products of the series can be accounted for in a sustained legacy of debate started by the contributors themselves.

In creating the framework for Number Nine, Enjoy incorporated the process of documentation and debate into the project specifics. From the very outset, the presence of curatorial writing was to give the series it’s planned critical dimension. Curators were required to write an essay in view of this publication. These are what follow on successive folds and are presented unedited. In keeping with the “hands off” approach Enjoy took in regard to the series, the texts are published as they arrived. This refusal to tailor the writings either stylistically or conceptually is simply in keeping with the series rationale. Printed here too is a response to the series by Tao Wells, Creative Director of Enjoy at the time. Diverse and contestable in both form and content, by their nature they emulate everything Number Nine set out to achieve.

While not the Editor of this publication, at the time of the series running, I was your regular Enjoy gallery goer. Thinking back now on those shows, just over a year later, more than what I saw, what remains strongest is what I heard. Number Nine really seemed to stir people up. It got people thinking, and questioning, what Enjoy was doing. I of course was right there, and now from over here I’m proud to present this document as a continued means for debate that started way back in 02.

These things however don’t happen without a lot of help along the way and I’d like to extend a warm thanky ou all those involved: first up, all of the curators and artists who participated in the Number Nine series, the members of the Enjoy trust at the time, especially Charlotte Huddleston, Amanda Ra, Clem Devine and Tao Wells, all the gallery volunteers and our wonderful sponsors: Creative New Zealand, The Package, the Lions Foundation, Big image Print and Radio Active. A special mention also to Tim Wyborn, who died tragically in Janurary of this year. Tim RIP, this is dedicated to you buddy.