St Paul st Gallery AUT

Past Exhibitions

Sightseeing

Elger Esser, Haruhiko Sameshima, Sarah Schönfeld and Shmuel Hoffman, Jeremy Diggle, Anne Noble, Ann Shelton, Wayne Barrar, Grit Schwerdtfeger, Eva Leitolf, Doris Frohnapfel, John Di Stefano, Frank Breuer, Karin Apollonia-Müller, Fiona Amundsen and Mark Adams.

Curated by Hanna Scott

8 April 2011 - 29 April 2011

Sightseeing installation view, 2011

Sightseeing is an exhibition and publication of postcards that explores the representation of place in contemporary German and New Zealand photography. Some are colour, some are an austere black and white, but the effect of these 90 images en masse is an impressive montage of a very peculiar kind of travel. The exhibition depicts armchair travel, a second-hand experience where the postcards are a stand-in for real encounter. Sightseeing suggests an expanded role for the travelling artist, beyond that of author to roles as archivist, activist, researcher, detective, auteur.

The 16 artists in the exhibition hail from Germany and New Zealand. In today’s era of rapid digital communication, this timely exhibition uses postcards to consider the way that landscape photography and tourism are closely allied. It responds to a generation of photographers who have adopted the postcard format to their own ends, as a medium all of its own. Sightseeing is both an exhibition and a publication. Graphic designer Duncan Munro won a Designers Institute best design award for the limited-edition publication, which features concertinaed booklets of all the postcards in the exhibition along with contributions by project curator Hanna Scott and Esther Ruelfs. Sightseeing opens at St Paul Street 07 April 2011 and visitors are encouraged to participate by sending their own messages on the back of these out of the ordinary postcards. It continues until 29 April 2011.

The spread of the images in Sightseeing is diverse. Postcards record visits to Hamilton Gardens, the Mediterranean migration hotspot Melilla, Antartica visitor centres and underground industrial mining spaces. The photographs of German artist Doris Fronhapfel for instance, document Europe’s internal and external borders while the EU was being reshaped. Another artist Karin Apollonia Müller re-photographs at the same location—a Los Angeles GAP advertisement—over a period of several months. Her postcards telescope time and question our relationship to public space.

The Sightseeing project has already sparked a fair amount of cross-cultural dialogue, with visits to New Zealand by artist Frank Breuer in 2009 and curator Esther Ruelfs in 2010, as well as reinforcing research visits by New Zealand artists to Germany.


Sightseeing, installation view, 2011

Sightseeing, installation view, 2011

Sightseeing, installation view, 2011

Sightseeing, installation view, 2011

Sightseeing, installation view, 2011

Sightseeing, installation view, 2011

Sightseeing, installation view, 2011

Sightseeing, installation view, 2011

Sightseeing, installation view, 2011