Tag Archives: smackmyarts

I love July

There are two reasons I love July.

1.?? Le Tour.

2. New Zealand International Film Festival.

I love the contrast of these two things.?? Le Tour is skinny men riding cycles through beautiful sunny countryside during stormy NZ nights. The Film Fest is human emotion on a big screen in the dark during NZ days.??
I don't get a lot of sleep during July.
I thought that I had my Film schedule all worked out.?? Unfortunately I'd forgotten about a workshop so my 5-films-in-one-day plan will have to be revised.????It's now looking like I'll be doing a couple of days off work.?? Nothing quite like running from cinema to cinema to remind me I need to up the jogging quota in my daily walk!
What are you hoping to see?
My must-see this year is Sherlock Jr/One Week (pg 15 Auckland brochure.)?? I've never seen a film with live music or a Buster Keaton film.?? I'm seduced by this description "two films of intoxicating inventiveness and lunatic technical virtuosity".?? All the descriptions make the films sound interesting, even the ones I know I would hate.
See you there??in the dark!
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Circus, Theatre and Dance combined – Deadly

Tonight I’m going to “Deadly” which ‘explores the balance of power that exists in every relationship.’ It sounds like a cool physical theatre thing and is part of the Wellington Circus Festival. Billed as “an award winning portrayal of a relationship of a man, a woman and the 7 Deadly Sins” I figured I should do a quick recap of the 7 deadlies before I went.

It turns out there’s more than one traditional list of seven things you should not do. There’s also a number of websites and quizzes which can tell you which sin will send you to hell…interesting but completely useless for this exercise. Quite remarkable really. I thought there would be a nice short list that I could have a quick look at. Hopefully I’ll be able to tell what the sins this team have used during the show.

I like circus and acrobatics and physical theatre. The things that some people can do with their bodies just amazes me. I’d love to be able to do the same but alas, I am hopelessly unskilled in that area. I read somewhere that part of what they do is technique rather than strength. Check out that photo where they are horizontal on the poles though – you don’t get to look like that from ‘technique’ only!

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In the 30’s


My friend Fiona recently celebrated her 30’s in Napier during the Art Deco Festival week. We gathered at the Sunken Garden in Napier for a picnic lunch. Lots of people were in Art Deco costume which was awesome. My favourite part was the aerobatics display. ( If only I’d known that the beach was 1min walk away the planes wouldn’t have disappeared behind trees.)  This was a festive occasion and people were really getting into it by dressing up and gently teasing each other. My friends and their kids had a wonderful time at the other free events. It sounds like something I’ll want to investigate further.

I prepared for this installment of #smackmyarts by reading “The bolter” by Frances Osborne. It’s about Idina Sackville “the woman who scandalised 1920s society and became White mischief’s infamous seductress”. It was a fascinating look into the world of the very rich (and quite scandalous) from aristocratic Britain during two world wars and beyond. Drunkenness, nudity, divorces, affairs – all with a desperate air of living life to the full. There’s plenty of detail – from letters, diaries and interviews. ( I think it gets more interesting after Idina’s first divorce so persevere through the descriptions of what her husband was up to.)  Following that I am ripping my way through the Phryne Fisher series by Kerry Greenwood. This is quirky little series about a female detective in 1920s Melbourne. It’s more fun than it seems. (There’s plenty of sex and crime in this series too.)

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Actually, you can eat the art

I saw the Taste: Food and Feasting in Art exhibition in two parts – with lunch in between.  It turns out that you can eat the art.

It wasn’t a painting so no canvas licking on my part.  It was an artwork called “Koha“.  Most of the write-ups about the exhibition mention it.  It’s created from steel pins and chocolate fish (yes, marshmallow chocolate fish).  The work was in a hallway space linking two rooms.  Walking into it you are enveloped by the smell of chocolate and marshmallow. The artist, Robert Jahnke, created it as a comment on guardianship not ownership of fishing stock. (But I reckon it could apply to any resource.)  It feels almost sacrilegious to take part of it away to be eaten.  In fact there weren’t many gone the first time I walked through.  Obviously people got peckish during lunch as more had disappeared when we came back.

I really like “Koha” in ways that I can’t quite articulate.  I think that it raises a lot of questions relating to the artwork (as well as the theme).  The chocolate fish is a Kiwi food icon, the default congratulation/commiseration foodstuff.  What if the fish changed size? (I’m pretty sure it has got smaller over the years.) What if Kraft (who now own Cadbury) decide not to make any more?  Does it matter if the fish face a different direction? (The day we saw it they were facing the other way to the picture on the website.  I wanted to change one of the lines so some of the fish were swimming the other way to all the others.)  How much did the Gallery pay for it?  Do they replace the fish every day?  Do they replace ALL the fish every day?  What happens to the fish that aren’t eaten?  What would it do to the meaning if the fish were cast in resin or preserved in some way so they weren’t edible?  Is one of the conditions of the art that it’s hung in a small space so you can smell the fish?

Fish and seafood was a major part of the exhibition which isn’t surprising.  Lots of photos of seafood, depictions of fish and a wonderful knitted giant octopus or squid with tiny babies which made me laugh. There were more straight up depictions than I expected.  e.g. cooking a hangi, plastic food for Japanese restaurants, doughnuts.  I preferred the more abstract things such as “The Last Supper“, 2 minutes 33 seconds, The Global in the Local.  The descriptions next to the art were also interesting.  One of the paintings “Miracle of loaves and fishes” had a mysterious note saying that it was the last remaining canvas of four.  What happened to the other three?   Another, well, I’m not sure it’s a highlight, piece that caught my eye was the film by Ed Ruscha called “Premium”.  It was interesting to watch the way the food was filmed.  Although art it did have the flavour of a cooking show to it, especially in the way the salad was shown in closeup. 

I’m not really an art person but I like the way that I’ve come away from the exhibition with more questions than answers. 


Taste: Food and Feasting in Art

Until 14 February 2010

Admission: Adult $7, Concession $5, Family Pass $15, Under

5s free.

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