The Poetic Condition | De Dichterlijke Aard

Curated by Sonja van Kerkhoff

NorthArt, Norman King Square (Opposite the Library), Ernie Mays Street, Northcote, Auckland 0627
8 - 30 October 2018
NorthArt Facebook page | opening times + public programme

18 Artists from Aotearoa | New Zealand and the Hague, The Netherlands:
Jess Paraone (Northland) | Brit Bunkley (Whanganui) | Virginia Guy (Northland)
Alexis Hunter (London), Marianne Muggeridge (Taranaki) | Roger Morris (Taranaki) | Raewyn Turner + Brian Harris (Auckland)
Thom Vink | Jonathan Reus | Pietertje van Splunter | Sanne Maes | Channa Boon | Anne Wellmer | Martje Zandboer
Sissel Marie Tonn | Yair Callender | Sonja van Kerkhoff

photos: gallery 1 | gallery 2 | gallery 3
detail of a 5 pice painting by Alexis Hunter

Pandora and the Honeypot, 2001, detail of a five piece painting by Alexis Hunter (Aoteaoa/New Zealand | London)

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Bird of Prey, 2012, video (loop 0'25") + drawing.
LCD tv with frame, 61 x 40 cm, 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, what are our histories), so that the exhibition as a whole is like an installation encompassing diversities of vision.

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The Speed of Dark, 3 cardboard models + shelf,
by Thom Vink, The Hague.

Thom Vink’s works take a more material versus human spirit perspective, where architectural models and photographs create a composite humane aesthetic, while Sanne Maes’ self-portrait video/drawing connects the self with the natural world.

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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 political events, such as Channa Boon's video, "Et in Arcadia ego" filmed during Georgia's first elections or Brit Bunkley's replica of the Alice Lake Tower the last remanent of the famed New Zealand psychiatric unit which closed in part due to a whistle blower who spoke out about the poor treatment and abuse of the patients.

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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 Büttrich-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 Anne Wellmer's videos. 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. Tea, a Dutch colonial import is coated with an emulsion bearing images taken by and of her white Dutch grandmother who was born and bred in then Dutch Indonesia.

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

Pietertje van Splunter's videos are like a poetics on the mundane: housework.
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 play on the object-subject and the phenomena of the 'meme' in her 'Child's Play' series.

NorthArt: 10am - 4pm, seven days a week, 8-30 October

Public Programme 13th | 14th | 28th

facebook event page
7th October:

4-5ish: Brenda Liddiard + Mark Laurent

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Mark and Brenda are well known on the New Zealand acoustic music scene (“Two of New Zealand’s finest singer-songwriters” - Wellington Folk Festival). Mark has a penchant for acoustic rock, blues & reggae while Brenda’s songs lean more toward new folk & alt. country. Her solo album Box of Memories was a finalist in the 2013 Best Folk Album Tui Awards.

Their shows are an eclectic mix of material that can be ‘pin drop’ delicate, or sound like a full band. Brenda & Mark have toured New Zealand, Australia & the UK for nearly 30 years. What they enjoy most is connecting with audiences on an intimate level, in acoustic clubs, small theatres, house concerts, churches - wherever people want to come close and listen.

13 October: 2-2.30pm:

"An aesthetics of engagement + a handful of Hague artist-run + dealer galleries"

NZ Hague-based artist, Sonja van Kerkhoff, curator of "The Poetic Condition," will give a show and tell of contemporary works by Hague or Europe based artists.

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13 October: 3-4 pm:

Martha Louise + guests

An American born Kiwi who has been at home in the folk / country cross over music scene in NZ since 1973. Expect a mix of contemporary acoustic Americana and original songs with guitar and dulcimer from either of her CDs (Journey (2007) and A Sense of Place (2016))

There will be contemporary acoustic music from the Austin sounds of Steve Earle to an acoustic version of a Bruce Springsteen classic, the haunting ballads of Gillian Welch to Martha’s own songs of family, loss and love. Martha can be seen playing around the country with the band 'Martha & the Backseat Drivers' (October 27th at The Mussel Inn, Takaka) and casually at one2one café and folk clubs in Auckland. When not singing she is designing and making made- to- measure Bridal gowns, contract pattern making for an Auckland designer and making special needs clothing for infants with Hip dysplasia for her 'Moonu' label which have been sent to families around NZ, Australia, Canada, USA & Ireland. Singing & sewing. That's the way it is.

14 October: 1-2pm:

"Poems from the Pantry"
poetry reading

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Featuring contributors to this new anthology edited by Judith Haswell and Janny Jonkers, encompassing 135 years of NZ food poetry from 1863 to 1998. Copies will be available for purchase and poets will also have other collections and will sign books. Arranged by Titirangi Poets co-coordinator Amanda Eason.

Stuart Bagby
Wystan Curnow
Piers Davies
Amanda Eason
Riemke Ensing
Nadine LaHatte
Graham Lindsay
Ron Riddell
Sen McGlinn
Alistair Paterson
Denys Trussell

14 October: 2:30-3:30pm:

Chris Priestley and guests - "Unsung Heroes"

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Chris Priestley has been one of the primary movers and shakers in in Auckland folk music scene for over thirty years. In addition to his work as a musician and songwriter, Chris was one of the founders of Real Groovy Records along with starting up such iconic folk cafes as Java Jive and The Atomic Café. Chris (with guest artists) will perform a selection from his two latest albums, Unsung Heroes (2013) and Rogue (2015) which are collections of written about some of New Zealand’s colourful historical characters. Songs that portray the heroes and heroines, villains and rogues, magicians, disasters and events that have shaped our nation. There's Hūria Mātenga, famed for her 1863 rescue of sailors near Nelson, the Prussian adventurer Gustavus von Tempsky, New Zealand’s only female miner Little Biddy Goodwin of the Buller, a soulful melody on Richard Pierce, the short life and tragic death of the tightrope dancer and barmaid Jennie Anderson and a song based on eyewitness accounts of the Tarawera eruption in 1886.
Chris started doing research on these songs when he chanced upon a newspaper item about Hūria Mātenga as a national heroine and decided that writing songs about them could be a way to remind us of our history. Each CD is also a booklet containing background about each person or event. The album “Unsung Heroes” was a finalist in the folk category in the 2013 Tui Awards.

Here is Chris performing the song, Huria Matenga from the Unsung Heroes album on on youtube performed in 2015 in the Bunker, Devonport with Nigel gavin, Cameron Bennett, Emily Roughton and Kirsten Taylor
Listen to all the songs from both the Rogue and the Unsung Heroes CDs here

Sunday 28 October: 2-3pm:

Nigel Gavin and guests

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Best known for his compositions on seven string guitar, Nigel Gavin is a highly regarded solo artist and session musician who has been a member of bands such as the New Zealand Jazz Quartet, The Nairobi Trio, Robert Fripp's The League of Crafty Guitarists, the klezmer "Jews Brothers," and Jonathan Besser's Bravura. His musical vocabulary ranges from acoustic blues and folk to jazz, rock, fusion, surf pop, complex ambient grooves and various world music genres, in particular klezmer.

28 October: 3-4pm:

The One Hour International Short Film Festival

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Still from Mons Pays (My Country) by Diek Grobler, South Africa.

Inspired by a poem by Ousmane Moussa Diagana of Mauritania,
the poem was set to music by South African musician Laurinda Hofmeyr.
The poet muses about the beauty and the secrets of his country.
The animated poetry film was created through a process of automatism, and painted in gouache on board.

curated by Sonja van Kerkhoff
A handful of films all under 5 minutes, most are by artists and none have been shown in New Zealand before. View the programme or print it out on this page.