17 Dec 2011 – 22 Apr 2012
Get ready for Dowse–Time in The Hutt this summer when Whanganui artist Julian Priest creates a unique time-zone for The Dowse Art Museum.
Defying the regulations of timekeeping, Priest’s installation of a clock on the front of The Dowse is just one of the works in Local Knowledge, an exhibition that deals with the specifics of location and time, the connections between them, and what it means to be at home.
Local Knowledge features works by a range of artists: Dan Arps, Simon Faithfull, Veranoa Hetet, Mike Heynes, Julian Priest, Andrew Ross, Joe Sheehan, Ans Westra, Zheng Guogu plus Fiona Jack's Living Halls Project.
Where we are matters. In our increasingly nomadic lives, location is important. Everywhere is local. Right here is The Dowse Art Museum, sited on land that is now civic space but has over the years been a housing development, market gardens, and before that a grove of Kahikatea, part of the rohe of Te Atiawa.
At a time when we are experiencing the greatest mobility and interconnectedness humans have ever known, the idea of ‘localism’ has conversely gained currency.
The artists in this exhibition come from here, there and elsewhere. All of them explore ideas of location and place via their own perspectives and mediums. Some of them are focused on building a deep relationship with a site, such as Wellington photographer Andrew Ross, or a family lineage, like weaver Veranoa Hetet.
Others are interested in mapping one location on another, as in Chinese artist Zheng Guogu’s physical manifestation of a virtual realm—creating an elaborate personal home from the online game Age of Empires. Fictional histories are also reflected in Wellington artist Mike Heyne’s playful interventions into historic museum displays, which rewrite the story of The Hutt as we know it.
A physicist might point out that you can’t have place without time. UK artist Simon Faithfull’s film 0˚00 Navigation deals with a literal kind of time travel—an epic walk through the UK tracing the Greenwich Meridian, ground zero for the world’s time zones. Defying standard regulations of timekeeping, Whanganui artist Julian Priest creates a new time especially for The Dowse that responds to the speed of local activity.
In Local Knowledge, the idea of place is always present, but sometimes elusive. It goes beyond geographic terrain to landscapes that are imagined, remembered, contradictory and ever evolving.
Julian Priest talks
about Local Time
on National Radio