Wallace Arts Trust Collection Area November 27th- January 19th
Artists in Situ
Waitoa Meat Plant
Curated especially for the Auckland Festival of Photography, Gil Hanly – Artists in Situ features portraits of best-beloved and emerging Kiwi artists at work, providing rare glimpses into the most intimate and vital part of an artist’s working life – the studio.
When I was a teenager growing up in Hawkes Bay, New Zealand, a lot of my friends left school at 15 and worked in the abattoirs. The country was doing well and my friends were making a lot of money back in the 1970s. I always wondered what it was like working in these places and how they could slaughter large animals day in day out without it affecting them.
The works in Prestidigitation are concerned with the posing, feigning, manners and trickery of people forced to live and operate under the cover of aliases.
These people are the population of our contemporary world. Many conditions - the post-colonial condition, the class war, the broken nuclear family, the age of communication of codes- have laid down the weave of this world, a weave uniquely tangled in the specificity of each person and each relationship of people. Navigating these tangles involves a series of moves, moves to negotiate, duplicate and perpetuate the psychological environment called Prestidigitation.