Independent Curators International (ICI) produces exhibitions, events, publications, research and training opportunities for curators and diverse audiences around the world. Established in 1975 and headquartered in New York, ICI is a hub that connects emerging and established curators, artists, and art spaces, forging international networks and generating new forms of collaborations. ICI provides access to the people and practices that are key to current developments in the field, inspiring fresh ways of seeing and contextualizing contemporary art.
The False Demographic
The False Demographic
Curated by Chloe Geoghegan and Ted Whitaker
7 – 31 October 2015 at Blue Oyster Project Space
The call to “design your own flag” aligns with New Zealand’s proud DIY culture, a want for modern democracy and an exacerbation of our wry antipodean humour. Exploring an alternative voice within the mainstream flag debate, The False Demographic reflected the diverse potential of socio-political dialogue within art practice. Questioning the debate as an automatic discussion, Robert Carter’s installation ‘The Voice of Authority II’ (2015) embodied and distorted the forceful nature of political dialogue. Enclosed by a border of quiet but invasive Kikuyu grass, Stella Corkery’s painting ‘Ears Burning’ (2015) and Brendan Jon Philip’s drawing series ‘Stateless Vexilla’ (2015) explored the indeterminacy of NZ’s sometimes post-global society. Prague based Czech artist Ondřej Vicena’s installation ‘I saw how tourist view burnt a spoon’ (2015) intersects the gallery space; hyperreality and reality interweave to offer a much-needed viewpoint from the outside looking in.
Alongside these works were nearly forty interactive responses from a constructed ‘demographic’, which formed a curatorial architecture for the exhibition and perhaps also a reverse-public programme whereby the exhibition audience could access a pre-existing discussion around the exhibition, in the exhibition. By presenting these responses from a range of different voices we asserted an alternative flag debate in order to explore some of the more complex issues the referendum process inadvertently exposed. We asked our demographic: what does the referendum mean to Aotearoa’s largely apolitical and globalised youth? How does it affect the current nature of post-colonial dialogue? Is New Zealand the perfect sized soapbox for political empowerment or disempowerment? Does the referendum consider the ‘otherness’ that many if not most New Zealanders identify with? Isolated geographically to the rest of the world and living in a destination country (unless en route to Antarctica) demands an outward perspective, which The False Demographic sought to do through a discursive framework.
1. Brendan Jon Philip, Stateless Vexilla (detail), 2015.
2. Ondrej Vicena, I saw how tourist view burnt a spoon (detail), 2015.
3. Robert Carter, The Voice of Authority II (detail), 2015.
4. Stella Corkery, Ears Burning (detail), 2015.
5. The False Demographic, installation image of interviews.
About the Curator
Chloe Geoghegan is a curator currently living in Dunedin, New Zealand where she is Director at Blue Oyster Art Project Space. The Blue Oyster, founded in 1999, is New Zealand’s (and perhaps the world’s) southern-most non-profit contemporary art space. Under her Directorship the space runs an energetic curated program of exhibitions, workshops, publications and events supporting critical contributions from emerging and experimental practitioners. Prior to this she co-founded Dog Park, an artist-run space in operation for nearly 3 years in post-earthquake Christchurch. Both positions have presented challenging curatorial environments with opportunities to explore innovative methods of exhibition making. Chloe holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts with Honors from University of Canterbury (2008/2015) and a Post-Graduate Diploma in Curatorship, which included an independent course of study at Oxford University (2011). Her research focused on 20 years of a local artist-run space and the global effects of Contemporary Art Daily. She has worked for Australasian institutions including: Centre of Contemporary Art, SCAPE Biennial, Govett-Brewster Art Museum and City Gallery Wellington (all NZ) and with Alaska Projects (Australia). She has written for and contributed to Hue & Cry (Auckland), Das Superpaper and unMagazine (Australia), and the Journal of Curatorial Studies (Vancouver).