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Hailed as the cornerstone of Wellington’s art scene, the City Gallery this week debuted another critically acclaimed exhibit. We sent our team of art experts down to check it out.
Immediately upon entry, an artist approached us and requested that we surrender our backpacks and coats—we were shocked! Although we were prepared for controversial avant-garde pieces, to be confronted so early on threw us off! Upon debaggaging our items, I felt my own personal baggage lightening, which I found worrying and alarming. We left the piece with bewildered looks towards the artist, whose face remained expressionless. What an actor!
The second piece we came across, Untitled, appeared to be an interactive installation. We were unsure as to the nature of the interaction itself, until we observed another party of viewers. It seems that you are meant to become part of the installation by placing your rear on the top of the object, and let it support your weight, or “sit” as we were told by the helpful gallery guide. We proceeded to “sit”, but we still didn’t get it.
After this disappointing piece, we made our way to the next in the exhibit, yet another Untitled piece. We believe the piece was a kinetic sculpture of some sort, about the size of a large cat. There were underlying tones of industry—perhaps a critique of neo-capitalism, but the overpowering theme was that of the fickle nature of humankind, expressed through a series of blinking lights and occasional, very quiet, “whoosh” noises.
Mentally tired from the creative demands the pieces, we decided to conclude our trip to the City Gallery. We were surprised to find that our journey was not as over as we had thought! Before leaving, the first artist that had approached us, approached us once again and asked us if we would like our bags and coats back. Wow! We could not believe it! A complete reversal of the original performance piece! How delightfully unexpected! We looked at each other in awe, and congratulated the artist many times over as she proceeded to hand to us first our coats, and then our bags. She remained completely modest—slightly confused even, at the praise we were giving her, as if she was unaware of her great artistic merit.
So if modesty and masterpieces are what you are looking for—the City Art Gallery is the place for you.