Feb 9, 2023 What's On
25 February – 25 June
AUCKLAND ART GALLERY TOI O TĀMAKI
As a filmmaker, I owe my very practice to light, the key ingredient in all cinema. Every filmmaker’s work is ultimately the way they choose to manipulate the light that passes through a camera. The title of this exhibition, Light from the Tate, points to light as a beacon — a way of illuminating the world through the artistic interpretations of that remarkable particle/wave that allows us to see at all. This showcase promises a wonderful range of artists; one of them, JMW Turner (unforgettably captured in Mike Leigh’s Mr. Turner), famously uttered these final words on his deathbed (at least allegedly): “the Sun is God”. Let there be light, indeed. — Tom Augustine
STUDIO ONE, TOI TŪ
My festival pick this year is this collaborative exhibition showing work from artists Cindy Huang, Ruby 嫦潔 White and Sung Hwan Bobby Park. All three artists — and the exhibition’s curator, Yeonjae Choi—work innovatively in ceramics, making work that is rich in story and critical insights into Asian-Aotearoa heritages and histories, exploring how craft-based practices might seed conviviality. I’m a fan of all their work individually — White’s clay cookers, Park’s playful helmets, and Huang’s hand-sculpted market-garden veggies — so I’m excited to see them all together at Studio One. — Connie Brown
AUCKLAND TOWN HALL
These sorts of things are normally fair to middling, but I saw Dallas Tamaira do a cover of ‘Grandma’s Hands’ at Ellen Meliville Hall about 20 years ago and it was completely unreal. The idea of seeing him do it again has me giddy. This is also a great opportunity for you to roll out this almost perfect joke for friends and family:
Q. How do you turn a duck into a soul singer?
A. Put it in the microwave till its bill withers.
BRUCE MASON CENTRE
Wild to me that he’s been able to keep this thing going for 50 years, and apart from one (very) short revival in the 90s, swing/big band jazz wasn’t in season for a single one of them — Fox must be the most doggedly determined New Zealander of all time. Features international drummers Dennis Chambers, Gregg Bissonette and Peter Erskine for what will likely be a pretty spectacular ‘drum off ’ if you like that sort of thing.
HOLY TRINITY CATHEDRAL
On discovering his wife and her lover in flagrante delicto, Don Carlo Gesualdo (1566–1613) murdered them both, mutilated their corpses, then felled an entire forest (“all by himself ” — if we believe the Werner Herzog documentary). Later in life, he launched an assault on the rules of harmony which, though it did have some precedent (particularly,
in Orlando Lasso and Cipriano de Rore), went altogether unmatched until well into the 19th century. “Very strange stuff,” wrote Aldous Huxley, who listened to Gesualdo’s madrigals while tripping on mescaline. This group, I think, are uniquely sensitive to the strangeness. I’m strangely excited. — Oscar Mardell
AUCKLAND TOWN HALL
If I had to name the top two things in this godforsaken world that shut me up and put me at ease, I’d say one is nature
and the other music. (I’m extremely unique!) Happily, Force of Nature features both. In celebration of 100 years of the nature advocacy group, composers and performers like NZTrio, Kathryn Moorhead and Yoshiko Tsuruta are filling the Auckland Town Hall with sounds that capture Aotearoa’s relationship with whenua, moana, flora and fauna (and its beauty). There will be “atmospheric visual design”; there will be acoustic chamber music. Catch me there with a burning desire to be very silent, still and completely relaxed — and, possibly, with a comfort blanket.
BRUCE MASON CENTRE
I was expatriated at the time of the Unruly Tourist saga, living in the United Kingdom, a place which the offending family call home. When I caught wind of the whole thing,
it had the air of something fabricated — not because New Zealanders are incapable of such public censure but because of the amazingly high pitch to which it rose. A collective nerve had been struck; the disdainful and censorious among us had been revealed. That my NZ Opera debut will be the staging of this sordid little episode is a bit of a coup. The production promises to be “a witty, irreverent, caustically observed” mix of high and low — just how I like my art.
RANGATIRA Q THEATRE
An adaptation of the Erich Kästner book – looks to have heavy Lemony Snickett/Mysterious Benedict Society vibes/ art direction for anyone watching those with appropriately aged children and looking to extend the experience to the stage.
4 March-30 April
TE URU WAITĀKERE CONTEMPORARY GALLERY
Snoots seem to dismiss the paintings of Rita Angus for being a bit too illustratey or in the way that all those painters working around a ‘New Zealand Style’ with rural scenes and harsh light are dismissed – for being a bit cringy and footrot flatsy or nationalistic but I like looking at them and there’ll be 20 at Te Uru as the slightly stripped back touring version of the big survey show Te Papa had earlier in the year.
Any poem that likens James Cook to a big arsehole is sure to pique my interest, especially if it addresses him in capitalised expletives (We’re gonna F**K YOU UP), but Tusiata Avia conjures her poetry with such dexterity that she fashions an oath to self-determination out of the profane, a language that heaves with pain and joy and humour. Her words vivify the page like ink licked into skin or a Valentine’s knife between the ribs. The Cook poem is only one from her Ockham Award for Poetry winning book, now adapted for the stage, but please excuse me for relishing in its caustic brilliance. — Cameron Ah Loo Matamua