February 16, 2016 - Artspace Aotearoa - THE BILL with Fiona Clark
February 16, 2016

Artspace Aotearoa

Fiona Clark, Diana and Sheila at Mojos nightclub, 1975.

THE BILL with Fiona Clark
February 20–April 22, 2016

Artspace Aotearoa
292 Karangahape Road, Newton
Artspace Aotearoa
1010 Auckland
Aotearoa New Zealand
Hours: Monday and Friday 10am–6pm,
Saturday 11am–4pm

T 09 8693964

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“What is most important is to cease legislating for all lives what is liveable only for some, and similarly, to refrain from proscribing for all lives what is unlivable for some.”
–Judith Butler, Undoing Gender

Artspace NZ launches architectural changes including two new research areas: Conversations and Learning, Unlearning, Relearning. This coincides with the exhibitions and events programme, entitled THE BILL with Fiona Clark, which marks the 30th anniversary of the 1986 Homosexual Law Reform Act in New Zealand Aotearoa. Learning from Aotearoa’s unique context, the new Artspace NZ prioritises forms of visual thinking, moving and non-moving images, public domain, artistic research, conversations, learning, unlearning, and relearning as codes of shared knowledge and experience which are redefined in the space. Looking towards Maungawhau, one of Auckland’s 53 dormant volcanoes, Conversations is now available for artists, curators and creative professionals as an open space. It will be continuously transformed as an extension of the programme with an emphasis on artistic research, beginning with Jaimee Stockman-Young’s project commissioned for THE BILL. Learning, Unlearning, Relearning combines Artspace’s Reading Room with its education programme. This public area, developed over time will engage artists, designers and audience in a collective process of rethinking questions around reading, writing, listening, exhibition-making and education.  

THE BILL programme will begin with a solo exhibition by Taranaki based artist Fiona Clark, entitled For Fantastic Carmen, with selected new works and historical pieces which have been targeted through several instances of censorship. The audience is invited to experience the transformations of identity politics, communal solidarity and body image through the artist’s long-term and on-going practice in relation to a shifting understanding of both individual and communal identities. Through March, the programme will unfold in accordance with the rhythm and chronology of the historical research material, with evolving forms of exhibition making, including a performance-based discussion platform and a collective artist studio. THE BILL not only aims to generate new perspectives on the history of queer identities in Aotearoa, but also to create an art historical bridge to a collective memory. The second half of the programme is both a form of political call and a group show. For Collective Unconscious will bring together work from other artists born into a legal system where LGBTQIA identities were illegitimate and who, throughout their careers, have witnessed significant judicial, social and political changes. Including works from Brian Tennesse Claffin, Léuli Eshraghi, Alicia Frankovich, Nilbar Güreş, Dale Harding, Lonnie Hutchinson, William E. Jones, Shigeyuki Kihara, Alex Monteith, Catherine Opie, Emily Roysdon, Aykan Safoğlu and Wolfgang Tillmans among others, it will focus on different generational statements such as "fighting for one's rights," "social acceptance," plurality and diverse forms of political organisation. In a parallel exhibition within THE BILL, Artspace NZ will collaborate with Starkwhite gallery, where Fiona Clark performed when she was an art student, when it was the famous adult entertainment venue, “The Pink Pussy Cat Club” on Karangahape Road.

Partners: Auckland Pride Festival, Auckland Arts Festival, Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision, VAR Programme, and Starkwhite
Supporters: Creative New Zealand, GABA, Chartwell Trust, Auckland Council, Michael Lett

Artspace NZ’s architectural changes were led by Kimberly Read from Bureaux, and funded through private donations from our community.

Artspace NZ acknowledges Billy Apple®’s RGB contribution of temporary architectural elements moving annually through the programme: Red Wall (2015), Green Wall (2016), Blue Wall (2017).   

THE BILL programme:
Fiona Clark
For Fantastic Carmen 
February 20–March 5, Artspace NZ and Starkwhite 

For Collective Unconscious 
March 12–April 22, Artspace NZ 
Opens with a performance by Black Cracker feat. GFS (during Auckland’s White Night festival, March 12) 

Parallel show: For Pink Pussy Cat Club, Starkwhite
March 12–April 22 

For enquiries, contact 
Misal Adnan Yıldız, Director: adnan [​at​] artspace.org.nz for curatorial  
Leah Mulgrew, Communications & Audience Engagement: leah [​at​] artspace.org.nz for media and press

Artspace Aotearoa
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