(Delayed) FRIDAY Fast Five: Flying in the Face of Fugly Flags

So I had another Fast Five planned for yesterday. Something about people and things that have inspired me to adopt a 'just do something' attitude over the last couple of years. People and things that have motivated me to do things like start this website with my BFF and agreeing to curate a small gallery next year. Things I would never have had the self-belief to do a few years ago. But god damn it, this New Zealand flag debacle has put  me in a funk and as this may be my last Fast Five of 2015 I've decided to go all posi-vibes and create a wish-list of places I want to go and things I want to see in 2016. 

1. The Len Lye Centre. This one is pretty doable. City Gallery's presentation of Len Lye: Kaleidoscope in 2013 was a bit of a revelation to me. It helped me along my path to realising my love of BIG, consuming art.  His works feel like a genesis - they are violent, loud, primal, meditative, disconcerting, unbalancing, machine-like and organic all at the same time. So yes, I think a trip to New Plymouth might be in order. Plus I LOVED seeing this full page ad in Fashion Quarterly. "Art isn't mild. Art is full-fat. Art isn't polite. Art punches, screams and kicks. We are the Govett-Brewster. Provocateurs since 1070." Say it louder so the people in the back can hear.  One could say that taking out an ad in FQ is preaching to the converted. One could also say that art definitely doesn't have to scream and kick. But, whatever. I still dig it.

 

2. Museum of Old and New Art, Tasmania. This one is also kind of doable unless my current state of broke-ness continues into next year. Everything about this place seems mysterious to me - the founder, David Walsh, the deceptive nature of the architecture, the interior that leads you three floors underground, the whole 'no windows' thing, the Dark MOFO festival (who by-the-by has got to be one of the coolest festival names ever). The collection is pretty bangin' too.  But maybe more intriguing for me is that it seems to be a bit of a throw-back to a different time - it reminds me of the private galleries I saw in the States. Coming from New Zealand where we are used to art being very much a public and usually free thing to view,  stepping into those epic private collections of oil or property tycoons was odd. Money literally dripped off the walls. Thinking of vast private collections creates all sorts of paradoxes in my head, but still. I want to see MONA. The physical experience of those buzzy, seemingly endless tunnels/passageways would probably be worth it:

 

3. Musee Matisee, Nice, France. The Prince of Chill himself. This one miiiiight not be so doable for 2016. We'll see. I first fell in love with Matisse when I saw reproductions of his Blue Nude Series in a book.  Such sublime-simplicity. In stark contrast to Govett-Brewester's kicking and screaming art, Matisse view art as a soothing balm: "What I dream of is an art of balance, of purity and serenity, devoid of troubling or depressing subject matter, an art which could be for every mental worker, for the businessman as well as the man of letters, for example, a soothing, calming influence on the mind, something like a good armchair which provides relaxation from physical fatigue." I kind of disagree with a lot of this but fuck it, in the face of that eye-watering flag I could do with some straight-up aesthetically brain-soothing arts. 

A posi-vibes and brain-soothing art.

A posi-vibes and brain-soothing art.

4.  Rice Gallery, Houston, Texas. This one has been on my list for a while now. Part of Rice University, the space is dedicated to site-specific installations. They've had a super, super impressive array of artist in the past and the upcoming 2016 show by Thorsten Brinkmann looks pretttty cool: "Working primarily form objects found  in Houston, Brinkmann will turn Rice Gallery into a place where the familiar is made strange as castaway goods are re-imagined through Brinkmann's idiosyncratic sensibility that combines assemblage sculptures with his self portraits and still life photography. "

Thorsten Brinkmann, Artfinger Gallery, 2015

Thorsten Brinkmann, Artfinger Gallery, 2015

5. Hakui: Women of Kai Tahu, Otago Museum. Another pretty doable one. In my home town no less. Lead by Migoto Eria, the first Cuator Maori at Otago Museum, this exhibition is a pretty big deal for Dunedin. In a museum where indigenous stories have been (and still are) presented as relics with very little focus on contemporary life and culture, it is just so exciting to see an exhibition that seems to be a living, breathing extension of the people who helped create it. Otago Museum desperately needed this. Dunedin desperately needed this.  Ka mou te wehi, Migoto! 

I feel this seminal track by Robyn reflects my mood. The ex-boyfriend is 500 000+ of my country folk to voted for that flagThe new girl they're all kissing is said crappy flag. I'm Robyn. You might be Robyn too. And that's ok.