The Poetic Condition | De Dichterlijke Aard

Curated by Megan Dickinson + Sonja van Kerkhoff

The Shutter Room, 7 Rust Ave (opp. the public library entrance), Whangarei
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Inge Reisberman | Christiaan van Tol | Lisa Clunie | Ellen Smith | Marg Morrow | Megan Dickinson | Elektra Bakhshov
Pietertje van Splunter | Thom Vink | Sanne Maes | Channa Boon | Anne Wellmer | Martje Zandboer | Sonja van Kerkhoff
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Bird of Prey, video + drawing by Sanne Maes,
The Hague.

The Poetic Condition | De Dichterlijke Aard looks at today's big questions as an aesthetic exercise where these artists from The Netherlands and Aotearoa / New Zealand, explore, respond or extend the theme of our human nature and the relevance of the aesthetic of poetic intervention to the self, socio-political or society. They use a wide range of media and approaches to 'big questions' (who are we, how do we live, how do we think about others or relate to the news), so that the exhibition as a whole is like an installation encompassing diversities of vision.

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Et in Arcadia ego, 29 minute video,
by Channa Boon, The Hague.
Still at 22 min.

Some artworks are poetic selections relating to contemporary news, such as Channa Boon's video, "Et in Arcadia ego" or Christiaan van Tol's drawings of Dutch news headlines while Sanne Maes' distilled self-portrait video/drawing connects our existance with the natural world.

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Triptych photographic print on dubond
by Inge Reisberman, Leiden

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A Red Lemon, still from the 9 min 54 sec, animation.
Soundscape + text selection by Anne Wellmer, The Hague.
Text excerpt from The Writing Notebooks by
Jewish-French, Algerian-born poststructuralist feminist, Hélène Cixous.
Voice: Stephie B├╝ttrich-Kolman
Animation: Harriët van Reek. Drawings: Geerten Ten Bosch

Others take images associated with 'the other' culture or people and relate them to the personal, such as Inge van Reisberman's photo-triptych and Anne Wellmer's videos. Inge Reisberman's photographic triptych contrasts a head and shoulder under a shower to photographs of people crossing a dune fence line in the dark, so they remind us of the refugees we are used to seeing in the news. They are in fact not refugees but Dutch citizens taking a short cut to the beach. The vulnerability of the central figure under the shower connects to the apparent vulnerability of people on the move in the dark. The animation, "A Red Lemon" is a surreal exploration in a mutating organic inner and outer 'strange-scape' where eery sounds and an evocative text complement the sense of biological galatical worlds.

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Warm Memories, photographic emulsion on tea bags
by Martje Zandboer, The Hague.

Martje Zandboer's suspended miniatures, which contain family photographs from the Dutch East Indies, mix Dutch colonial history with the theme of the personal and intergenerational.

Thom Vink's works take a more material versus human spirit perspective, where architectural models and photographs create a composite humane aesthetic. Pietertje van Splunter's videos are like a poetics on the mundane: housework.

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Cleaning the Air, still from a video of a sculpture-machine by Pietertje van Splunter, The Hague.

Her brooms seem animated by an unearthly force and in the video, Vaat (Washer), the constant stacking of the differing tribes of kitchen utensils suggests a game with secret rules. In using humour with the overkill her videos are reminders that the everyday domestic, is also a microcosm of the amusing, perhaps necessary banality of habit. Sonja van Kerkhoff's photographic works pose questions focussed on an object-subject that is extended beyond the domestic, where an image of a baby is extended into the three dimensional incorporating philosophical slogans.
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Curiosity of Perception 5,
pinhole camera image, chemically altered silver gelatine print on art paper,
stitched onto canvas, by Marg Morrow, Kohukohu, Aotearoa | New Zealand

The five New Zealand based artists, Lisa Clunie, Ellen Smith, Marg Morrow, Megan Dickinson and Elektra Bakhshov have also responded to the theme, The Poetic Condition with works where the photographic medium is expanded. Lisa Clunie, Marg Morrow and Megan Dickinson have played with the dark room process itself with works marked by processes outside of the camera box, while the photographs by Ellen Smith and Elektra Bakhshov deal with emotive themes.