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The Wal-Mart Effect


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Break: Towards a Public Realm showcases the latest developments in contemporary art from Aotearoa New Zealand. Curated by Melanie Oliver, Towards a Public Realm is the fourth instalment of Break – an acclaimed series of Govett-Brewster biannual exhibitions.

This exhibition presents the work of Murray Hewitt, Fiona Jack, Louise Menzies, Kate Newby, Kim Paton, and Peter Wareing. Curator Melanie Oliver says the artists take a diverse range of approaches, yet all share an interest in our socio-political processes, structures and histories.

“Employing various media and strategies, this group of artists critically examine the significance of the images, language and architectural forms that surround us. Specifically, they question the relationships that bind societies together, the systems that govern them, and the role that art can play in defining these.” Whether electing to present their work in public places or within the gallery, each artist engages with their wider surroundings, suggesting artistic practice can act as public space.

“Their works are gestures or propositions for social alternatives. Addressing sustainability in all its forms - environmental, economic, socio-cultural - and the imperative to support local initiatives over global conglomerates, imperial or colonial powers, Towards a Public Realm posits the advocacy of community spirit as not quite so twee after all,” says Oliver.

The Wal-Mart Effect is a large scale wall drawing spanning over 25 metres, covering 3 walls in the Govett-Brewster. The Wal-mart Effect maps consumer culture and the corporate structures that control our liberalised global economy as the drawing includes the address of every Wal-Mart ever opened in the USA and internationally. The store addresses are located along a timeline from the first store in 1982, showing the explosion of growth in stores in the 1990's and early 2000's through to the effects today of the current economic crisis.

Item Type: Contribution to a Show/Exhibition
Additional Information: Curated by Melanie Oliver
Uncontrolled Keywords: Wal-Mart, public art, wall drawing
Subjects: N Fine Arts > N Visual arts (General) For photography, see TR
N Fine Arts > NB Sculpture
N Fine Arts > NX Arts in general
Divisions: Schools > School of Media Arts
Depositing User: Kim Paton
Date Deposited: 14 May 2012 02:54
Last Modified: 21 Jul 2023 02:57

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