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Mystic Truths Opens at Auckland Art Gallery

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Window or Wall Sign by Bruce Nauman 1967

AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND.- A new exhibition at Auckland Art Gallery explores the prevalence of mysticism in contemporary art and its potential to shift the existing relationship of art to life.

Seventeen international artists draw upon mystic realities either through re-performing historic spiritualism, activating contemporary superstition, recreating mystic tools and iconography and documenting belief in other worlds and speculative realities.

Both the artists and viewer’s standpoint are positioned in the uncertain middle-ground between belief and cynicism.

The title Mystic Truths extracts the oxymoron embedded in Bruce Nauman’s 1967 neon sign “the true artist helps the world by revealing mystic truths”.

Nauman’s words declare a role for the artist that sits uneasily within contemporary art and life in the West – that mysticism is not only alive and real, but also necessary.

Curator Natasha Conland calls upon the catch-phrase ‘mind over matter’ to suggest the artists’ interest in the powers of the mind as a change-agent in the physical realm of art and exhibition.

She uses the metaphor of ‘the curse’ as an alternative lens from which to view the relationship between concept and form. Freed from cynical or superstitious association, a curse is merely an idea. Add belief to this idea, and it has the power to affect change.

The exhibition will be accompanied by a comprehensive catalogue and programme including talks, films and events including an opening weekend performance by UK artist Olivia Plender.

Artists: Mikala Dwyer (Australia); Omer Fast (Israel/USA); Laurent Grasso (France); Loris Gréaud (France); David Hatcher (NZ); Joachim Koester (Denmark); Maria Loboda (Germany); Liz Maw (NZ); Dane Mitchell (NZ); Karen Murphy & AP Komen (Netherlands); Bruce Nauman (USA); Olivia Plender (UK); Jennifer Tee (Netherlands); Mungo Thomson (USA); Barbara Visser (Netherlands) and Thomas Zipp (Germany).

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Written by Reckon

July 5, 2007 at 3:34 am

Posted in Art

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