Image Processors

Image Processors

Adam Art Gallery at Victoria University of Wellington

September 27, 2021
Image Processors
Artists in the Medium—A Short History 1968–2020
September 14–November 7, 2021
Adam Art Gallery at Victoria University of Wellington
PO Box 600
Gate 3, Kelburn Parade
Wellington 6140
New Zealand
Hours: Tuesday–Sunday 11am–5pm
Instagram / Facebook / Twitter

Artists: Aldo Tambellini, Richard Serra, Dara Birnbaum, Martha Rosler with Paper Tiger TV, Harun Farocki, Lisa Reihana, Megan Dunn, Ryan Trecartin and Lizzie Fitch, Wynne Greenwood and K8 Hardy, Josephine Meckseper, Mike Heynes, Arthur Jafa, Matthew Griffin

Image Processors surveys a history of artists’ moving-image works that take the mass media as their target. Shaped by artist and theorist Judith Barry’s insight that “It is only by producing images that the subject of mass culture begins to feel some measure of control over the alienation produced by this condition” (1986), Image Processors provides a compelling bridge that links the critical aspirations of an artistic avant-garde to the manipulations and blandishments of quotidian entertainment.

Working back in time from Australian artist Matthew Griffin’s compilation of 133 short videos, Unchained Malady (2020), which irreverently repurposes imagery from online news and social media, the exhibition features works by Arthur Jafa, Mike Heynes, Josephine Meckseper, Wynne Greenwood and K8 Hardy, Ryan Trecartin and Lizzie Fitch, Lisa Reihana, Megan Dunn, Martha Rosler (with Paper Tiger), Dara Birnbaum, Richard Serra, and Italian-American ‘electromedia’ pioneer Aldo Tambellini, that variously appropriate found footage, restage familiar genres, or scrutinise the mechanisms of the media.

Curator Christina Barton conceived the exhibition as an opportunity for local practitioners to be shown alongside landmark works by international artists that have never before been brought together in Aotearoa New Zealand; she maintains the nature of video enables such movements and alignments. It is a mode capable of working around the fact that the country’s borders are closed to all but New Zealand citizens due to the COVID pandemic.

The physical presentation of works in the Adam Art Gallery’s architecturally challenging spaces is an important dimension of the project. Image Processors uses a variety of installation strategies. These include sculptural interventions, large-scale projections, and thoughtful juxtapositions where the choice between a monitor or a flat screen has been made according to the work’s original format and mode of delivery.

Image Processors brings together artists who are at once fascinated observers of the imagery that floods us daily, and fierce critics of the mass media’s coercive and corrosive effects. This timely gathering serves as a glimpse of and a prehistory for the tactics employed by today’s users of social media, offering a reminder of the valuable role art can play in exposing the persuasive power the media plays in our lives.

Te Pātaka Toi Adam Art Gallery is the art gallery of Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington located in Wellington, the capital city of 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 of Wellington 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.

RSVP for Image Processors
Adam Art Gallery at Victoria University of Wellington
September 27, 2021

Thank you for your RSVP.

Adam Art Gallery at Victoria University of Wellington will be in touch.


e-flux announcements are emailed press releases for art exhibitions from all over the world.

Agenda delivers news from galleries, art spaces, and publications, while Criticism publishes reviews of exhibitions and books.

Architecture announcements cover current architecture and design projects, symposia, exhibitions, and publications from all over the world.

Film announcements are newsletters about screenings, film festivals, and exhibitions of moving image.

Education announces academic employment opportunities, calls for applications, symposia, publications, exhibitions, and educational programs.

Sign up to receive information about events organized by e-flux at e-flux Screening Room, Bar Laika, or elsewhere.

I have read e-flux’s privacy policy and agree that e-flux may send me announcements to the email address entered above and that my data will be processed for this purpose in accordance with e-flux’s privacy policy*

Thank you for your interest in e-flux. Check your inbox to confirm your subscription.