The exhibition brings together 9 artists working in various locations who pose new and compelling questions about the nature of the human subject under present conditions. Working mainly with photography and video they recognise the ever-present role of these media today, and offer a timely set of responses that map the terrain of contemporary experience for viewers to negotiate.
curated by Christina Barton
The Subject Now brings together nine artists working in various locations who pose new and compelling questions about the nature of the human subject under present conditions. According to exhibition curator and director of the Adam Art Gallery, Christina Barton, these artists do not conceive the subject as a freewheeling individual in command of their thoughts and emotions; nor as an indeterminate construct prey to the simulacral effects of representation; nor even as someone whose identity is linked foremost to their colour, class, gender or sexual persuasion.
Instead their concerns seem to be with a notion of the subject as a consciousness conditioned by its relation to others; for them subjectivity is contingent, a position to be articulated, negotiated, and projected. Thus, the exhibition moves past humanist, poststructuralist and multiculturalist positions, to offer a new ‘take’ on how we represent ourselves. Working mainly with photography and video these artists recognise the ever-present role of these media today, and offer a timely set of responses that map the terrain of contemporary experience for viewers to negotiate.
Perhaps what links and distinguishes this selection of artists is that each takes advantage of the formal properties of their medium to stage an encounter that draws in the viewer. By folding together form and content and refusing the kinds of ideological motivation that drive the mainstream media, they guarantee art a vital function: to destabilise any fixed playing out of subject positions and, therefore, to enable reflection on what it means to ‘be’ in the world today.
Artists in The Subject Now are: Halil Altindere (Turkey), Willie Doherty (Ireland), Daniel du Bern (NZ/UK), et al. (NZ), Terrence Handscomb (NZ/USA), Hye Rim Lee (NZ/US/South Korea), Aernout Mik (Netherlands), Markéta Othová (Czech Republic) and Kan Xuan (China).
The exhibition will be accompanied by a programme of talks, forums and a workshop that will expand on the artistic, theoretical and political implications of the exhibition.
Image: Daniel du Bern
Opening Friday 25 July, 5.30-8pm
Party Friday 25 July, Mighty Mighty, 104 Cuba Street, Wellington, 8pm – late Featuring Crystal Beauty: Electro Doll, Hye Rim Lee with Jed Town
Adam Art Gallery
Gate 3, Kelburn Parade Victoria University 64 - Wellington
Tuesday – Sunday, 11am - 5pm