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JH

Site Specific Hoardings

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Hikalu Clark, Accurate Community Projections, 2018, on the reeves Rd billboards. Commissioned by Te Tuhi Auckland. Photo: Sam Hartnett Hikalu Clark, Accurate Community Projections, 2018, on the reeves Rd billboards. Commissioned by Te Tuhi Auckland. Photo: Sam Hartnett

It is hard to tell if Clarke is being satirical or earnest in his use of digitally embedded, quoted academic language—though of course a belief in the benefits of neo-liberalism, in the art community context, is highly unlikely. The lolly coloured, garishly beguiling ‘abstract' work does seem to mock commercial motives, although obviously some aspects of the Pakuranga Mall—like the community library—lie outside that.

Te Tuhi billboards on Reeves Rd

Pakuranga

 

Hikalu Clarke
Accurate Community Projections

 

12 August -21 October 2018

A hoarding project which focuses in general terms on the shopping mall it is adjacent to, Hikalu Clarke‘s three roadside images feature sections of text about such consumerist spaces and the community aspirations that their architecture embodies, mingled (in different sized paragraphs, lines and fonts) with floating coloured fragments from frozen promotional videos.

Sections of readable and unreadable, predictive sociological text mix as ‘painterly’—vaguely Rauschenberg-esque—elements with blurry, organic shots of a ripped open blue sky and more defined mall interiors, and what could be allegorical piecemeal body parts. Some ‘mapping’ psychological diagrams are incorporated too, looking at personality types and the values that drive them.

It is hard to tell if Clarke is being satirical or earnest in his use of digitally embedded, quoted academic language—though of course a belief in the benefits of neo-liberalism, in the art community context, is highly unlikely. The lolly coloured, garishly beguiling ‘abstract’ work does seem to mock commercial motives, although obviously some aspects of the Pakuranga Mall—like the community library—lie outside that.

So driving past, the works are poppy, decorative and exuberant. Walking past however, on the Reeves Rd footpath, they are political if you look closely and read the different texts peeking through the streaks of diagonally printed colour. The mood then changes. The tone becomes more ominous. The venue is not quite so welcoming.

John Hurrell

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