Alicia Frankovich, Fiona Jack, Peter Madden, Kelvin Soh
Curated by Nova Paul and Monique Redmond
13 November 2004 - 11 December 2004
Alicia Frankovich, Manoeuvre (installation view), 2004.
In Michel de Certau’s Practice of Everyday Life, he explores ways of using and ways of operating in ‘everyday practice’. Examining the way in which consumers produce their own signifying practices, he likens this to a trajectory or a wandering line, which is indirect and errant and obeys its own logic. The trajectory suggests movement, a description or transcription of the individual’s interest and desire. The trajectory splits into two strands: strategies and tactics. A strategy is a ‘proper’ relationship organised by forces outside the environment, such as politics, economics and science. The strategy is a victory of space over time whereas a tactic is outside the ‘proper’ and therefore is the other. It has no base or place as such and so depends on time. “It is always on the watch for opportunities which it must seize on the wing…. Many everyday practices (talking, reading, moving about, shopping, cooking, etc.) are tactical in character. And so more generally many ‘ways of operating’ are victories of the weak over the strong.”
The artists in Manoeuvre take on the splatter gun approach to exploit and activate their game plan. Crossing a gamut of discourses and media, they have created a practice that is fluid, systemic, ecliptic and responsive. They are tactical mavericks and magpies that have forged a framework and shaped a context to nest in. A modus operandi has become the method in their making. Combining hobbies, curiosity, obsession and activism, the scope of their practice unfolds from the simple to complex, scattered to gathered; multifarious interpretations.
These artists and designers are engaged in practice as project; processing, filtering and diverging information, image and object to establish a point-of-view, a research proposal, a conversation. All have studied either visual arts or graphic design in the School of Art and Design at AUT. Through their practice they confidently navigate interdisciplinary methods that embody the School of Art & Design’s focus. Anna Jackson, another graduate from the School of Art and Design currently resident in Berlin, contributes an essay to the publication designed by The Wilderness accompanying the exhibition.
Alicia Frankovich, Melbourne: Alicia Frankovich studied at AUT 1999-2002, moving to Australia in 2003. Her expansive installations include sculptural and graphic components referencing domestic habitats and sporting equipment. Recent solo exhibitions include in 2003 MOP Gallery, Sydney; Conical Inc, Melbourne and Rm103, Auckland both in 2004.
Fiona Jack, Los Angeles: Fiona Jack is studying at CalArts, LA in the post-graduate programme and running CalArts’ Visiting Artist Programme. Jack’s practice has straddled a range of mediums and contexts. She initially studied Graphic Design at AUT (1994-96) and was appointed Postgraduate Art and Design Fellow in 1997, and taught in the School of Art and Design from 2000 until her departure in 2003 to study in LA. Her Nothing billboard campaign in 1997 received international attention and her practice encompasses activism, landscape painting, book design and performance. She has been recently included in group exhibitions at the Adam Gallery, Wellington; The Physics Room, Christchurch; The Blue Oyster Gallery, Dunedin; Victoria and Albert Museum, London and has mounted solo shows at Artspace, Auckland; Platform Gallery, Melbourne; Gallery 727, Los Angeles; and is currently contributing a billboard work to the Nomad series of temporary commissions in London.
Peter Madden, Auckland: In 2003 Peter Madden completed his MFA at Elam School of Fine Arts. He studied at AUT between 1990 and 1993. He has exhibited widely in New Zealand including Artspace, George Fraser Gallery, Michael Lett and Rm103, all in Auckland, and took part in New Zealand’s São Paulo Biennale project this year. His work was included in the recent Prospect exhibition at the City Gallery, Wellington and during October/November 2004 he holds his first solo exhibition at Michael Lett Gallery, Auckland. Forthcoming projects include the group exhibition Bloom at the newly established 6403, Christchurch.
Kelvin Soh, Auckland: Since graduating from AUT with a Bachelor of Graphic Design in 1995 Kelvin Soh has maintained a fluid design practice, combining commercial engagements with conceptual practice across a variety of media; comic illustration, graphic design, music video, self-publishing and a t-shirt label. Proudly, he has never been employed full-time by a design company, preferring to ride roughshod in the freelance zone – allowing for greater autonomy, flexibility and silliness. In 2003 Soh partnered with Simon Oosterdijk to create The Wilderness a design business that prizes ideas-based creativity and intentionally occupies the slippery territory between art and design. They were keynote speakers at Semi Permanent (Auckland) Design Conference and are receiving considerable critical attention. As The Wilderness, recent projects include: sleeve design for Dimmer ‘You’ve got to hear the music’ and Goodshirt ‘Fiji Baby’, music video for Dimmer 'Come Here' single and Funkstorung 'Generation Fat', and artwork for the NZ Herald 'Inkroom' for NZ Fashion Week. They have just published the free zine ‘Mean’ a collection of Graphic Art and Design work featuring emerging NZ talents.
Nova Paul is a filmmaker and Monique Redmond is a sculptor. Both are established practitioners regularly exhibiting in New Zealand and internationally, and are lecturers on the Visual Arts programme in the School of Art and Design, AUT.