Was that cannon fire, or is it my heart pounding?

4 Jul – 4 Aug 2012

Artemio, Daniela Edburg, Ihab Jadallah, Jacquelyn Greenbank, Louise Menzies, Mary-Louise Browne, Mike Heynes, Nathan Pohio, Nicholas Mangan, Ronnie van Hout

Featuring artists from New Zealand, Mexico, Palestine and Australia, Was that cannon fire, or is it my heart pounding? is a collection of videos, photographs, sculptures and installations that explores the interplay between art and cinema.


Many of the artists critique modes of representation and labour dominant in the movie industry. Yet their work also represents a desire to participate, gleefully appropriating the visual tropes of mass genres such as horror, action and science-fiction. Others offer a more personal reflection on the iconography of classic stills, memorabilia and technology, recognising them as a series of indelible but elusive aspirational models.

Ihab Jadallah’s The Shooter, 2007, makes use of low budget aesthetics to both parody and reject the portrayal of Palestine’s political situation in the media and in film. Jadallah’s production is a tragicomedy that reflects on colonization, media manipulation and the impossibility of reflecting reality through mass media communication.

Rather than a hero, Artemio’s Gladiator, 2004, presents us with a schizophrenic Russell Crowe fighting an imaginary opponent in a deserted Coliseum. By deleting frames where other people had appeared, the artist refashions the blockbuster film through the use of comedic critique, reverting stereotypes of masculinity and heroism proliferated by Hollywood and popular culture.

In Mary-Louise Browne’s works Everything has been said and There’s nothing to know, both 2004, the artist isolates fragments of film scripts to explore the boundaries of language and the multiplicity of possible readings that can arise.

Louise Menzies' series Fin, 2012, consists of a series of prints based on the back cover of various issues of celebrated 1960s journal Cahiers du Cinéma, which was crucial to the creation of French New Wave cinema. By rethinking history through images, Menzies' work revises filmic historical narratives to reconsider their status value.

The opening of the exhibition will be accompanied with a script reading by writer Megan Dunn.

Read Mark Amery's review on The Big Idea

Curated by Claudia Arozqueta, Mark Williams

Was that cannon fire, or is it my heart pounding? 2013. Image courtesy of Lance Cash.

Was that cannon fire, or is it my heart pounding? 2013. Image courtesy of Lance Cash.

Public Programme

Time Cinema in Lyall Bay, Wednesday 11th July 6pm: Antheroes.inc

A screening of international artists from New Zealand, Mexico, Austria and Russia including: Artemio, Blue Noses, Steve Carr, Gerard Crewdson, Megan Dunn, Mike Heynes, Sarah Jane Parton, N.I.C.J.O.B. (Nicolas Jasmin) and Terry Urbahn.

We gratefully acknowledge the support of Creative New Zealand, Wellington City Council, The New Zealand Film Archive, Time Cinema, The Embassy of Mexico, Jim and Mary Barr, Hopkinson Cundy, Bartley & Company Art, CIRCUIT Artist Film and Video Aotearoa New Zealand, the Adam Art Gallery and Massey University.