Nau mai, haere mai, welcome to EyeContact. You are invited to respond to reviews and contribute to discussion by registering to participate.

JH

‘Deconsecrating’ City Gallery so it reverts to being a library?

AA
View Discussion

Staffed by one of the most refined curatorial teams in Australasia and purveyors of a sophisticated exhibition programmed much envied by other cities, City Gallery seems now to be unappreciated by the people's elected representatives. It is surely more responsible to find blocks of rental space around the capital where different sections of the library collection can be housed in isolation, and where location (pick up) information can be effortlessly disseminated for users online.

EyeContact (mini) Essay #29

According to the local papers, the Councillors in Wellington are taking the above notion seriously, and are thinking of chucking out the City Gallery art specialists and replacing them with librarians—reverting to that (since modified) building’s original function.

The art community has a long history of infatuation with books (part of its traditional obsession with critical text’s argument and reproduced image’s allure) but to take away the exhibiting spaces of one of the very best municipal art institutions in the country—in order to find shelf space, while earthquake repairs are done next door—is a cruel (and unusual) punishment for being a success. It is idiotically backward.

Staffed by one of the most refined curatorial teams in Australasia and purveyors of a sophisticated (yet accessible) exhibition programme much envied by other cities, City Gallery seems now to be unappreciated by the people’s elected representatives. It is surely more responsible to find blocks of rental space around the capital where different sections of the library collection can be temporarily housed in isolation, and where location (pick up) information can be effortlessly disseminated for users online.

Maybe the word ‘deconsecrating,’ as used above, is a little excessive because after all, libraries are holy places too. Both need to be defended, as the appalling recent actions of Auckland University testify.

If you agree with the above sentiments, please be vocal in your opposition. The architectural nuances of City Gallery make visiting this building for art experiences a treat, and need to be continued, not thoughtlessly abandoned.

*Email: mayor@wcc.govt.nz; councillors@wcc.govt.nz

*Letters to the Editor: letters@dompost.co.nz. No attachments. Letters must include the writer’s full name, verifiable home address, and daytime phone number. PO Box numbers not accepted. 200 words max. 

*If making posts on social media — please tag:
Justin Twitter https://twitter.com/justin_lester
Justin Facebook https://www.facebook.com/justin.lester.7777/
WCC Facebook https://twitter.com/WgtnCC
WCC Twitter https://www.facebook.com/wellingtoncitycouncil/
City Gallery Twitter https://twitter.com/CityGalleryWgtn
City Gallery Facebook https://www.facebook.com/CityGalleryWellington/

John Hurrell

Print | Facebook | Twitter | Email

 

This Discussion has 2 comments.

Comment

John Hurrell, 12:48 a.m. 9 May, 2019

Yesterday the mayor stated on Radio Active that this idea was not being discussed at all. The problem is that city councils have a reputation for secrecy and the Wellington (and national) art community is deeply anxious. There needs to be a more public guarantee that the gallery is secure.

Reply to this thread

John Hurrell, 2:43 p.m. 9 May, 2019

Good news – the council have agreed not to use the gallery for library spaces. They are going to focus on the Manners St site and two others in different parts of the CBD. Big hugs and thanks for all those folk who sent in messages expressing their concern. Their efforts are hugely appreciated.

Reply to this thread

Recent Posts by John Hurrell

JH
Yonel Watene, Hongi, 2019,  Macrocapa, Ash, Kauri, Redwood, Pine, Tawa; Linseed, Teak and Danish oils; turpentine, oil paint, carnauba wax. lmage courtesy of ArtsDiary

Two Seas Simultaneously

ST PAUL St Gallery

Auckland

 

Group show
Two Oceans at Once

15 February - 17 May 2019

JH
Gavin Hipkins, The Valley (2019), digital video still, 14 minutes.Image courtesy of the artist and Starkwhite.

Hipkins’ Devonshire Video

TE URU

Titirangi

 

Gavin Hipkins
The Valley

 


23 February - 2 June 2019

JH
Sorawit Songsataya's installation, Jupiter (ดาวพฤหัล), 2019 (detail) on the top floor of Te Uru. Photo: Sam Hartnett

Songsataya at Te Uru

TE URU

Titirangi

 

Sorawit Songsataya
Jupiter (ดาวพฤหัล)

 

23 February - 26 May 2019

JH
Installation of PᾹNiA!'s Salut d'Amour: Salut to Love, 2019. digital video, colour, sound, 14 min 30 sec. Photo: Sam Hartnett

Make Way For Love

TE TUHI CENTRE FOR THE ARTS

Auckland

 

PᾹNiA!
The True Artist Helps the World by Asking for Trust


23 March - 19 May 2019