The Wallace Arts Trust has partnered with Allpress Studio (8 Drake Street, St Marys Bay) to present a new exhibition from the Wallace Arts Trust Collection.
Past participants of the Wallace Arts Trust Intern Programme were given the opportunity to submit a proposal for an exhibition concept to be shown at Allpress Studio. Jess Douglas, Nina Lala and Lucy Backley put forward a creative and thought provoking idea concerned with technology, contemporary art and New Zealand society and was selected for display. The exhibition, Distant Past, will be on show at Allpress Studio until 5 August.
Tap it, swipe it, flip it. These are among just a few of the instructions that are now synonymous with 2016 and the 21st century. Technology has accelerated and disseminated at a rate so rapid that we are now contingent on it in the functioning of our everyday lives – and is this for the better or the worse? We perhaps hold a blind belief in the ability of technology to advance our nation to a better future. Such themes are explored in Distant Past, which uses modern and contemporary art in a number of media to explore the role of technology on our identity as New Zealanders.
New Zealand was the last habitable land mass on earth to be settled by humankind, and as such is an incredibly young country. Because of this, Aotearoa is arguably a nation that doesn’t look back to its far-off past in order to assert its identity. We do, however, turn to our childhood memories with a sense of nostalgia for what the recent (but seemingly distant) past used to be like. With technology has come the internet and social media, which brings with it freedom – but also a number of issues. With technology comes liberation of thoughts, greater broadcasting of ideas, improved security and a better understanding of how the world works. Yet it also brings with it greed, a startling permanency of opinions, less privacy and poorer focus and attention to details.
This exhibition has conceptual layering between all of the different artworks and thoughts. The eclectic mix of media provided is reflective of how technology has made our thought process more active and diversified and our attention spans shorter. Every piece of art creates a platform for people to come and think about such ideas, much in the same manner that the internet provides a platform to share and disseminate opinions and beliefs. Every artwork in this show deals with technology in some manner, or at least in the current context of 2016 they can be interpreted as such – because all things can change meaning given their environment or context, and artworks are no exception to this intimidating rule.