June 12, 2007 - Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki - Mystic Truths
June 12, 2007

Mystic Truths

Olivia Plender The Medium & Daybreak 2005, mixed media installation, courtesy the artist.

Mystic Truths
30 June-14 October 2007

Auckland Art Gallery New Gallery
cnr Wellesley and Lorne Streets
New Zealand
Tel 64 9 307 7700
Fax 64 9 302 1096
info [​at​] aucklandartgallery.govt.nz


The exhibition Mystic Truths at Auckland Art Gallery explores the prevalence of mysticism in contemporary art, and its potential to shift the relationship of art to life. Within the exhibition experience, both artist and viewer are positioned in the uncertain middle-ground between belief and cynicism.

The artists draw upon mystic realities through re-performing historic spiritualism, activating contemporary superstition, recreating mystic tools and iconography and documenting belief in other worlds and speculative realities.

The title Mystic Truths extracts the oxymoron embedded in Bruce Naumans 1967 neon sign “the true artist helps the world by revealing mystic truths”. Naumans words declare a role for the artist that sits uneasily within contemporary art and life in the West that mysticism is not only alive and real, but also necessary.

Curator Natasha Conland calls upon the catch-phrase ‘mind over matter’ to suggest the artists interest in the powers of the mind as a change-agent in the physical realm of art and exhibition. She uses the metaphor of the curse as an alternative lens from which to view the relationship between concept and form. Freed from cynical or superstitious association, a curse is merely an idea. Add belief to this idea, and it has the power to affect change.

The exhibition will be accompanied by a comprehensive catalogue and programme including talks, film screenings and events, with an opening weekend performance by UK artist Olivia Plender.
Artists: Mikala Dwyer (Australia); Omer Fast (Israel/USA); Laurent Grasso (France); Loris Gréaud (France); David Hatcher (NZ); Joachim Koester (Denmark); A.P. Komen/Karen Murphy (Netherlands/Ireland); Maria Loboda (Germany); Liz Maw (NZ); Annette Messager (France) Dane Mitchell (NZ); Bruce Nauman (USA) Olivia Plender (UK); Jennifer Tee (Netherlands); Mungo Thomson (USA); Barbara Visser (Netherlands) and Thomas Zipp (Germany).
Mystic Truths is generously supported by Creative New Zealand, the Mondriaan Foundation and the French Embassy.

Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki
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