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The Dowse Art Museum, Lower Hutt, Wellington Region
SAT 10 MAR 10:00 A.M. - 5:00 P.M.
New Zealand artist Gavin Hipkins’ career is characterised by a remarkable fluidity, spanning a wide range of photographic media, from slide transparencies to photograms to moving image.
The Domain fills the entire ground floor of The Dowse (except the gallery housing the pātaka Nuku Tewhatewha. The full version of the exhibition runs until 11 February 2018, after which time several galleries will be closed to install the new exhibition The Language of Things. From 12 February the remainder of The Domain will remain open until 25 March, focused on Hipkins' narrative works.
The Domain is an expansive survey of Hipkins’ work, bringing together 25 years of art-making. It reveals an ever-evolving practice which returns again and again a set of core concerns: photography as the predominant form of modernist visual communication; the nation state and national identity; exploration and colonisation in the modern era; how social and political ideologies visually shape the world we live in.
Early in his career, Hipkins was described by fellow artist and writer Giovanni Intra as a "tourist of photography". This epithet has been used repeatedly by commentators on Hipkins' work, to describe two distinct, yet intertwined, aspects of his practice: as art historian Peter Brunt puts it, Hipkins is a constantly travelling photographer, “an iconographer of desire, travel, time and... modern communities", and as tourist within the medium, “a great manipulator of the photographic artifact itself: its materiality, formats, systems, modes of installation and display".
The Domain presents major, well-known bodies of work including The Habitat (1999–2000), Hipkins' study of Brutalist architecture on New Zealand universities; The Homely (1997–2000), a photographic tour through New Zealand and Australia, nominated for the inaugural Walters Prize; The Colony (2000–2002), shown at the 28th Sao Paulo Biennale; and This Fine Island (2012), his short film which revisits Charles Darwin's journey to the Bay of Islands in New Zealand in 1835.
By showing these key pieces alongside lesser-known and less frequently seen works, and photographs from his student days right up to 2017, the exhibition is an opportunity for followers of Hipkins' work to see how his career has unfolded, and for newcomers to discover one of our most innovative investigations of photography—its power and its shortcomings.
Downloadable exhibition guide.
We have created a 22-page booklet with infromation about the works in the exhibition which you can use at the gallery or download here.
About the artist:
Gavin Hipkins (born 1968, Auckland) holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the University of Auckland and a Master of Fine Arts from the University of British Columbia; he is currently Associate Professor at Elam School of Fine Arts at the University of Auckland.
Hipkins has exhibited extensively in solo and group shows throughout New Zealand and internationally. His film works have been shown in festivals including the New Zealand International Film Festival, the Edinburgh Art Festival, and the International Short Film Festival Oberhausen.
He has held a number of residencies, including the inaugural New Zealand artist residency at Artspace Sydney, the McCahon House Residency, and the International Studio and Curatorial Program artist residency in New York.
The Domain is also an extensively illustrated book that combines new essays with a selection of art writing from the past 20 years.
Published by Victoria University Press it will be available in Mine: The Dowse Shop this December.
Gavin Hipkins is represented by Hamish McKay Gallery, Wellington and Starkwhite, Auckland.