Foliage, soil, silence. It Was a Cave Like This (2017-18) opens to the lens drawing a gentle, verdant line, bringing the viewer into the cool sensations of an undergrowth. A voice; “You helped do this.” “...You helped light this flame.”
Walking the shore is commonplace in this country. But are we looking out, or in? Who are ‘we’ here? What are we walking on, or along? And how far does the shore extend in time, place, and, well, film? - Stephen Turner
"... Johns’ is deeply immersed in the symbol not as a western cultural apparatus, a semiotic of contested bio-politics but as a divisible structure, a meditative aid that backs onto a compassionate, beatifically contemplative worldview" - Hamish Win
What strategies do contemporary artists employ to test media representation of reality and the means through which we channel and consume it? How do artists expand the documentary form through various material processes and formal strategies? How do artists deconstruct the surfeit of images we already have and the means by which we receive them? Can 'truth' and fiction exist in the same space? What historical artworks could be part of a revised genealogy of current documentary practices in Aotearoa New Zealand? How could an ethic of care, as understood through sustained relationships with Indigenous and diverse communities be played out through documentary practices?
"...it makes sense to read the satellite as an extension of an embedded technology already at work, not just the out-reaches of an exploitative capitalism, but just another iteration of a frontier that’s always been with us." - Hamish Win
A warning, perhaps, for reviewers. On the second floor of the Govett Brewster large sheets of paper are lit by vivid red lights. In the gloom, we can make out semi-deconstructed poems and brief statements: coherent, unclear, clear – she / shallowness-depth-she / Less-less-than lack-she.
Is the rustling of Snickers wrappers beneath my feet a filmic moment? The gallery floor is strewn with them, and with grapefruit seeds, which I initially mistook for peanuts. Is the weight of a person crushing grapefruit seeds a filmic moment?