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JH

Shopping Both Sides of the Ditch

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Invitation image Installation shot. Image courtesy of the artist and Martyn Reynolds, who took the photos. Installation shot. Image courtesy of the artist and Martyn Reynolds, who took the photos.

But there is more. Something else is going on - especially if you look more closely at the paper flier. From examining the individual titles and the accompanying lists of materials, it seems Munn is interested in comparing New Zealand products with Australian, examining in his ‘field work' groceries as an anthropologist would. Not only the prices, variety and types, but also the volume, weight and packaging come under scrutiny.

Auckland

 

Daniel Munn
resene lochmara 250ml, dulux sea foam half 250ml, dulux golden passionfruit 250ml, glass tumbler 220ml duralex provence, diggers metho 1l. choc t/bear 200g, capricorn 400g, milky bar 50g, finish tabs 14pk. celery pieces, tomato roma red, mushroom cups, bean round, ginger, carrot. coca cola 2l, sprite zero 2l, diet coke 2l, thins chips 175g, smiths orig 175g, smiths chik 175g, chinet sparkling tum 20pack, sb coles plate paper 20pack, servte 3ply 80pk, deeko serviettes, mr bbq tong 30cm, bbq tray rect3pk.

 

1 September - 24 September 2010

The gorgeous photo on the invitation /poster, taken by Emillia Marinkovich and the artist, shows an austere wooden table on which is placed a supermarket plastic bag. On this lies half a raw cabbage and a two litre plastic bottle of milk. The milk’s an Australian brand I think.

The show in the library foyer Window space is quite different. On the floor of the sealed off gallery are many (not all) of the items listed above in the show’s title. On the left hand side are several glass tumblers used for mixing yellow paint. On the right are assorted bags of ‘junk food’ like potato chips and Cheezels, several large bottles of fizzy drink, and packets of plastic cutlery, paper napkins and paper plates.

Munn’s title is like a lengthy store receipt but a pinch more detailed. This project seems connected to the performance and installation this Melbourne-based artist did at Newcall a couple of years ago where he served coffee from a vendor’s truck and had the accoutrements (and other connected items) placed around the space and walls.

This exhibition, oddly enough, seems less interactive and at first glance, more a critique, as a static display, of the presented ‘fast’ food and drink (even though many here are sugar free) - marketed to be consumed in front of the television or in social gatherings, like BBQs or gallery openings.

I suggest this because of the juxtaposition of the residue of the toxic looking yellow paint - it seems symbolic (as no yellow paint appears to be actually applied around the site) - with the food and drinks. It seems pointed. Munn is obviously referring to our wasteful and greedy consumerist society generally, but also implying that the art world (with its university galleries) colludes with such processes.

But there is more. Something else is going on - especially if you look more closely at the paper flier. From examining the individual titles (there are several, so I assume the display goes through intermittent changes) and the accompanying lists of materials, it seems Munn is interested in comparing New Zealand products with Australian, examining in his ‘field work’ groceries as an anthropologist would. Not only the prices, variety and types (he is giving a couple of talks) but also the volume, weight and packaging come under scrutiny.

From the title Munn seems to enjoy long receipt lists with their brand names abbreviated, so he can then paste them into an unusual exhibition heading. Yet as a display there is no hook here to make you stick around the space, to linger. So while admittedly the ‘real’ work might be in his public lectures, as a static exhibition using readymades it ends up being worthy but dull.

John Hurrell

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This Discussion has 1 comment.

Comment

Dan Munn, 5:16 a.m. 9 September, 2010

A recording of the talk with Daniel Satele is available at http://window.auckland.ac.nz/archive/2010/7/onsite.html (follow link at bottom right)

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