Sunday, September 28, 2008

The Great and Unpredictable Art Search

"Who Watches the Watchmen?" Ron Terada, Canada. Sept. 2008.Ajr
As my headline for this post might suggest, I think SCAPE 2008 should rename itself!!!
I'm all for the notion that art should play with our perceptions and expectations, that it should not necessarily be 'handed to us' in a predictable gallery location. I actually LIKE contemporary art that makes you reassess the boundaries of what is and what can be considered art. But if I don't find anything at the end of the hunt - or if what I do find seems sloppy, poorly realised and a little too lean on content, I quickly lose interest. That's been happening a bit too often at this year's Scape Biennial. Yesterday was a case in point - it took me forever to find Ron Terada's "Who Watches the Watchmen" and when I finally glimpsed it I was disappointed (I liked his city version better). Maybe that's because I - and other visitors from Wellington - hadn't been able to find the other Lyttelton work at all. Factor in the mysterious 'non-work' in Cathedral Square and the still unfinished Victoria Square work by Japanese artist Tatzu Oozu (which I have been looking forward to most and have now visited six times in the hope of a final product) and I don't think I'm being picky about my frustrations. I at least live in Christchurch and can revisit the sites to check on progress...but what about out-of-town visitors who came to Christchurch specifically to see the biennial. Is it any wonder some have gone away mumbling unkind things? Click on Scape Biennial in the label line below to see other Scape postings.

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