Tales from Elsewhere at MAC-Lima and PUCP, a trans-continental collaborative outstallation project with Terry Urbahn, Mila Huby, Catherine Bagnall and students from the Facultad de Arte y Diseño de la Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú.
Who am I? Well, sometimes I am an artist, occasionally a writer and once or twice a curator. But I definitely work at the Massey University Whiti-o-Rehua School of Art in Wellington, Aotearoa New Zealand. I studied at the University of Canterbury School of Art, the Kunstakademie Düsseldorf, and have a Masters of Fine Art from RMIT University, Melbourne. From the-mid 1980s I have exhibited sculpture and sculptural installation consistently in New Zealand and internationally, with a recent focus on the Americas.
This began in 2011 when I curated the exhibition El Barroco de Aotearoa, six New Zealand Artists to Mexico City. Since then I have undertaken residencies at Arquetopia, Puebla Mexico, and No Lugar, Quito Ecuador, and was a visiting scholar at the Instituto de Investigaciones Estéticas, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México. In 2018 I worked on exhibitions in the US and Peru in collaboration with artists from there and Aotearoa.
Why? Because I believe the Americas, like Aotearoa New Zealand, are new Baroque cultures, sites of cultural complexity where the dominant Western paradigm rubs against other ways of being in the world. Thus change happens, and we need this, we need to to find a way out of social and environmental exploitation, to use art to leave neo-liberalism behind and move towards something that might be socialism. Art to tell other kinds of stories about the world. Part of this, of course, involves trying to work out what it is to be to be Pākehā in 21stcentury Aotearoa New Zealand. That’s always been there, ever since I was a kid and realised that, not quite like my English Mum and Dad, Pōneke Wellington is home.