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Announcement
August 7, 2020

June-August 2020 exhibitions

Adam Art Gallery at Victoria University of Wellington

Dane Mitchell, Post Hoc Relic (detail), 2019. Printed paper rolls, canvas and metal strap, dimensions variable, in Dane Mitchell: Letters and Documents, Adam Art Gallery Te Pātaka Toi, 2020. Courtesy of the artist and Mossman, Wellington. Photo: Ted Whitaker.

View of Dane Mitchell: Letters and Documents, Adam Art Gallery Te Pātaka Toi, 2020. Photo: Ted Whitaker.

View of Dane Mitchell, Recent Acquisitions (detail), 2002, in Dane Mitchell: Letters and Documents, Adam Art Gallery Te Pātaka Toi, 2020. Two framed letters, each 353 x 268mm (frames). Courtesy of the artist and Mossman, Wellington. Photo: Ted Whitaker.

View of Dane Mitchell, Recent Acquisitions (detail), 2002, in Dane Mitchell: Letters and Documents, Adam Art Gallery Te Pātaka Toi, Wellington, 2020. Two framed letters, each 353 x 268mm (frames). Photo: Ted Whitaker.

View of Ken Friedman: 92 Events, Adam Art Gallery Te Pātaka Toi, Wellington, 2020. Courtesy of the artist. Photo: Ted Whitaker.

View of Ken Friedman: 92 Events, Adam Art Gallery Te Pātaka Toi, Wellington, 2020. Courtesy of the artist. Photo: Ted Whitaker.

View of Ken Friedman: 92 Events, Adam Art Gallery Te Pātaka Toi, Wellington, 2020. Courtesy of the artist. Photo: Ted Whitaker.

View of Julia Morison: Head[case], Adam Art Gallery Te Pātaka Toi, Wellington, 2020. Courtesy of the artist. Photo: Ted Whitaker.

View of Julia Morison: Head[case], Adam Art Gallery Te Pātaka Toi, Wellington, 2020. Courtesy of the artist. Photo: Ted Whitaker.

View of Fraser Crichton, Mariachiara Ficarelli, Lachlan Kermode, Bhaveeka Madagammana, Davide Mangano, Karamia Müller: Violent Legalities, Adam Art Gallery Te Pātaka Toi, Wellington, 2020. Courtesy of the artists. Photo: Ted Whitaker.

View of Fraser Crichton, Mariachiara Ficarelli, Lachlan Kermode, Bhaveeka Madagammana, Davide Mangano, Karamia Müller: Violent Legalities, Adam Art Gallery Te Pātaka Toi, Wellington, 2020. Courtesy of the artists. Photo: Ted Whitaker.

View of Fraser Crichton, Mariachiara Ficarelli, Lachlan Kermode, Bhaveeka Madagammana, Davide Mangano, Karamia Müller: Violent Legalities, Adam Art Gallery Te Pātaka Toi, Wellington, 2020. Courtesy of the artists. Photo: Ted Whitaker.

View of Julia Morison: Head[case], Adam Art Gallery Te Pātaka Toi, Wellington, 2020. Courtesy of the artist. Photo: Ted Whitaker.

Dane Mitchell: Letters and Documents

Ken Friedman: 92 Events

Julia Morison: Head[case]

Fraser Crichton, Mariachiara Ficarelli, Lachlan Kermode,
Bhaveeka Madagammana, Davide Mangano,
Karamia Müller: Violent Legalities


For its June–August exhibition programme, Adam Art Gallery Te Pātaka Toi presents a suite of four diverse exhibitions. While these multi-generational and geographically dispersed practitioners represent a range of political and artistic concerns, a number of threads can be identified between their exhibitions. These include, but are not limited to, working to provide access and bring order to systems of knowledge and information exchange to place pressure on power structures both within and outside of the art world.

Dane Mitchell: Letters and Documents charts a particular trajectory through the practice of Dane Mitchell, New Zealand's representative at the 58th Venice Biennale, 2019. The exhibition brings together drawings, printed documents, vinyl records and photographic documentation produced between 1998 and 2019. From a stolen painting, to a lost satchel, a purloined bag of rubbish and illicitly recorded conversations, Mitchell treats his subjects and their representation as tools to reflect on how information and knowledge is conveyed, exchanged, withheld, remembered and forgotten.

The instructional texts in American-born, Sweden-based Fluxus artist Ken Friedman’s 92 Events navigate a fine line between sculptural proposition, absurdist action, and concrete poetry, that reflect the ethos and procedures of Fluxus, the international movement that developed its anarchic approach to art making from the 1950s through to the present. Friedman’s playful but profound scores are a welcome respite in this current moment, providing a fitting model for new ways of envisaging how art might function as a mental game where the imagination can roam even if our bodies can’t.

Julia Morison’s Head[case] is the latest in her long series of works that draw on esoteric knowledge systems that redefine materials and images to recode their symbolic connotations. Hovering between the surreal and the systematic, Head[case] takes the fundamental attributes of the human head and playfully adjusts them to accentuate and transform the sensory portals through which we mediate our relations with the world and with each other.

Violent Legalities is an interdisciplinary project initiated by academic Karamia Müller, Lecturer at the School of Architecture and Planning, University of Auckland, and London/Boston based New Zealander Lachlan Kermode, software lead at human rights agency Forensic Architecture. Building on open-source software developed by Forensic Architecture, the exhibition launches new interactive maps of Aotearoa, specially developed to plot historical instances of violence and unrest and to track these against a chronology of legislative changes. This ambitious project, initiated in the wake of the 2019 Christchurch mosque shootings, presents a case to scrutinise law changes that have led to the over-policing of non-white citizens in Aotearoa New Zealand.

The Adam Art Gallery Te Pātaka Toi is the art gallery of Te Herenga Waka - Victoria University of Wellington, Wellington, Aotearoa New Zealand. It is a forum for critical thinking about art and its histories as well as the professional structure within which the Victoria University Art Collection is managed. The gallery’s programmes aim to test and expand art form and disciplinary boundaries and create new opportunities to bring artists together and generate fresh conversations. The gallery is a remarkable architectural statement designed by the late Sir Ian Athfield, one of New Zealand’s foremost architects.

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