Notes on rest


exhibition Details

Notes on rest looks at the ways in which, over time, Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki has provided respite for its visitors. Although the exhibition is not solely about furniture, architecture or landscaping, it addresses each of these peripheral aspects in order to examine how the Gallery has made spaces for rest.

In the essay ‘The Door to Slow Sunset’ (2012), Hu Fang, a curator and writer based in Guangzhou and Beijing, writes about a ‘desire’ or ‘impulse to rest’ within an urban environment, describing small spaces or moments that might relieve day-to-day stress, such as an outdoor garden or a bonsai on an office desk. Responding to ways in which everyday stress might be relieved and a space for rest provided, research was carried out into photographs of the Gallery’s interiors, such as the mezzanine floor in the early 1970s and the sculpture court and garden, particularly after the 1971 Edmiston Wing renovations. Other material relates to evening functions held by the Gallery, its coffee shop and to lunchtime concerts. Documentation of work by Billy Apple presents the idea of subtraction or absence as a relief, similar to rests in written music, and an image of a performance by Gray Nicol depicts an act of lying down as a radical and dangerous form of rest. Newly commissioned artworks by Georgina Watson provide a contemporary response to the central concern of repose.

Activating spaces usually perceived as peripheral, Notes on rest displays material from the E H McCormick Research Library to provide a different perspective on historical material, the physicality of the Gallery and how it has been experienced which may or may not have altered over time. It is a modest investigation into tangible interplays of energy, exertion and exhaustion as well as the different kinds of restoration the institution has provided.


Image credits:

Auckland Art Gallery cafe in the1980s, E H McCormick Research Library, Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tamaki

Georgina Watson, Its not personal 2018, courtesy of the artist



Curated by
Victoria Wynne-Jones
Mezzanine level display case
Free entry

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