Nau mai, haere mai, welcome to EyeContact. You are invited to respond to reviews and contribute to discussion by registering to participate.

JH

Nick Austin and Diets

AA
View Discussion
Nick Austin's Paleo Apartments exhibition as installed at Hopkinson Mossman. Nick Austin's Paleo Apartments exhibition as installed at Hopkinson Mossman. Nick Austin, FODMAPS Apartments, 2017, gesso, pencil,and pigmented marker pen on canvas, two parts, 1550 x 1100 mm overall Nick Austin, FODMAPS Apartments, 2017, detail, gesso, pencil,and pigmented marker pen on canvas, two parts, 1550 x 1100 mm overall Nick Austin, Paleo Apartments, 2017, gesso, pencil, and pigmented marker pen on canvas, two parts, 1500 x 1100 mm overall Nick Austin, Paleo Apartments, 2017, detail, gesso, pencil, and pigmented marker pen on canvas, two parts, 1500 x 1100 mm overall Nick Austin, Mediterranean Apartments, 2017, detail, gesso, pencil, and pigmented marker pen on canvas, three parts, 1500 x 1200 mm overall Nick Austin, Raw Food Apartments, 2017, gesso, pencil, and pigmented marker pen on canvas, two parts, 1500 x 1100 mm overall Nick Austin, Where Sugar Lives, 2015, coloured pencil on paer, 594 x 420 mm Nick Austin, Where Sugar Lives, 2015, coloured pencil on paer, 594 x 420 mm Nick Austin, Toothbrush Cycle, 2015, coloured pencil on paper, four parts, 1070 x 1070 mm overall Nick Austin, Unfinished Couch, 2017, flashe and carton pierre on polystyrene, 670 x 1780 x 800 mm Nick Austin, Irritable Bowel Syndrome, 2006-16, acrylic on newspaper, 575 x 785 mm Nick Austin, I'm Pregnant, 2017, pencil on pillowcase, with pillow, 450 x 680 x 150 mm

Austin's food charts, with his cursive handwriting listing vegetable or protein types, mingled with erasures and ink colour changes, are guides for easy nutriment location on the wire shelves in freezers. On another level these dietary preoccupations and spatial trackings for ravenous cooks are also floor plans for apartments. The four lots of two or three-set canvases have an architectural function, showing diagrammatically where various succulent leafy edibles or peculiar meats in cold storage live.

Auckland

 

Nick Austin
Paleo Apartments

 

10 March - 8 April 2017

A sparse but surprisingly effective installation, using written-upon, white butted-together canvases as guides for the internal contents of fridges, and a carved (partially painted) polystyrene sofa, Nick Austin’s new Hopkinson Mossman presentation - for all its airy minimalism - has got presence. It is not haunting but it is definitely memorable. Funny ha ha (as you’d expect with Austin) while also oddly anxious. It even has a slightly Georges Perec feel - the antibourgeois sentiments of Things: A Story of the Sixties mixed with the organising structure of Life: A User’s Manual.

Austin’s food charts, with his cursive handwriting listing vegetable or protein types (aligned at different angles), mingled with erasures and ink colour changes, are guides for easy nutriment location on the wire shelves in freezers. On another level these dietary preoccupations and spatial trackings for ravenous (but finnicky) cooks are also floor plans for apartments. The four lots of two or three-set canvases have an architectural function, showing diagrammatically where various succulent leafy edibles or peculiar meats (such as ostrich or rabbit) live in cold storage.

This notion of ‘living’ - where carefully selected food stuffs or consumable substances dwell waiting to be discovered - is a consistent theme throughout this exhibition. Shown by itself in the small gallery, Where Sugar Lives is a coloured pencil drawing of a Coca Cola bottle with a cute wee house nestled inside on its base. Outside above the bottle is hovering another more natural ‘home’ for sugar - a juicy orange.

Where horrid tooth decay germs live, gobbling up your tasty enamel, is also the theme of Austin’s set of four toothbrush usage drawings, the bristly implement bending and straining each time to get into the tricky hidden corners of Austin’s, his loved ones’, or your (the viewer’s) mouth. Austin seems to be fascinated by the springy, rubbery, concertina-like necks of modern toothbrushes, while showing anxiety over plaque’s determined resistance to a good scrub.

As well, where soon-to-be-born babies might live is shown in a pillow /envelope that could be stuffed under a floppy jumper as a pretend pregnancy. An unambiguous message to a distant father it also tangentially alludes to deceitful and ersatz ‘motherhood.’

Continuing this theme, where troublesome colonic conditions thrive is referenced by a painting with thin acrylic on newspaper. Irritable Bowel Syndrone shows a fakir’s bed of nails doubling up as a soon-to-be-planted vegetable garden in the middle of the back lawn. A bit of rudimentary research indicates that for some unfortunate people, delicious, but irksome brassicas like broccoli, cauliflower or cabbage might wisely be avoided. For your backyard vege patch, Austin seems to be saying, be careful what you plant.

The only piece of sculpture on display, Unfinished Couch, if it were finished, might indicate where various loose coins from your trouser pocket might reside - in the crevice down the back, behind the cushion. However the carving and the painting is clearly not completed, so your change is safe. The polystyrene block is not soft on the buttocks and the paintwork indicates that even if it were, two’s company, three’s a crowd. For a domesticated twosome this furniture is not empathetic to surplus inhabitants. Visitors (even those who bring their own food) are unwelcome.

Soon to be launched with this wonderful exhibition is a publication Austin has made of conversations he has had with art critic and poet Wystan Curnow. This is a unforeseen but very exciting meeting of alert and particularly lively minds, one greatly looked forward to with high anticipation.

John Hurrell

Print | Facebook | Twitter | Email

 

Recent Posts by John Hurrell

JH
Installation of Jeena Shin's Movement Image Time exhibition at Two Rooms. Photo: Sam Hartnett

Shin Works on Canvas and Paper

TWO ROOMS

Auckland

 

Jeena Shin
Movement Image Time

 

27 October - 25 November

JH
John Stezaker, Marriage (Film Portrait Collage) CVI, 2013, collage, 30.3 x 23.3 cm. Image courtesy of the artist and The Approach, London.

Repulsively Enchanting Stezaker

CITY GALLERY WELLINGTON

Wellington

 

John Stezaker
Lost World

 

26 August -19 November 2017

JH
Tomislav Nikolic, How Long Must We Live Right Before We Don't Even Have To Try (Role Model), 2017: #1, mixed medai; #2, mixed media; #3, mixed media;

Tomislav Nikolic Paintings

FOX JENSEN MCCRORY

Auckland

 

Tomislav Nikolic

How long must we live right before we don’t even have to try

12 October - 11 November 2017

JH
Phil Dadson: Notation  Series #6 (961), painting; Tonethrone, instrument; HEADSUP@961: 23.8.16, projection

Dadson at Headlands

AUDIO FOUNDATION

Auckland

 

Phil Dadson
Shiver Me Timbres: Solos and Collaborations with a Multi-Voiced Instrument

 

5 October - 28 October 2017