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March 16, 2009 | by  | in Visual Arts |
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One Day Sculpture: I Remember the Golden Light

The chance to see Monet’s work in New Zealand has been described as a once in a lifetime opportunity. Perhaps what is lesser known is another chance to see blink-and-you-miss-it works by both international and nationally renowned artists. One Day Sculpture is a series of artworks which literally exist only for one day. The project aims to reconfigure the potential of what public artwork can be and includes an interesting range of performance, installation and intervention of the everyday space. The time span of these works are particularly relevant in the wake of issues of permanence and sustainability.

Last Friday I was lucky enough to catch Bekah Carran’s I Remember The Golden Light, situated at the National Library. Directly adjacent to the library doors was a grey box building, the exterior of which was adorned with leverarch file covers creating a unique tiled look. Interestingly, this actually matched the National Library’s brutalist architecture. I was greeted by a librarianesque woman and then entered a windowless room, complete with chairs, study lamps and desks with files strewn all over them. The interior of the room was lined using cardboard and reminded me of a basement archive space or makeshift intelligence information room.

As part of the project the artist had put out a notice requesting images of various categories. The responses of this call were within the myriad of files. The images seemed to be cut out from magazines and were completely decontextualised with any accompanying text covered up. The media’s tendency to remember and record the significant, sensational event has been ignored, and in Carran’s archive I instead found images of the ordinarily beautiful and unremarkable. Her categories of files included: dandelions, daffodils, people hongi, people eyes shut, and much more, with around 150 files and 1500 images. These banal but pleasant categories collectively picture an ideal world, something which the artist appears to be consciously producing.

These images definitely brought back romantic memories of flicking through old National Geographic magazines when I was a child, naïvely thinking of what a wonderful and lovely place the world must be. Carran’s beautiful archives also reveal an interesting practice around what we choose to remember and perhaps what we choose to leave out and forget. Her work existed for one day but I can see it being remembered for much longer.

Check out www.onedaysculpture.org.nz for more information on once in a lifetime artworks.

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