The Past Is Present
HOME|February 2020
The Past Is Present
In exhibitions at public galleries around the country, artists reflect on our collective, individual and cultural histories.

There’s something in the New Zealand art world’s water at the moment. Maybe it was the centenary of Colin McCahon’s birth in 2019 that kickstarted it, but the steady stream of exhibitions looking to the past to help us understand our contemporary moment is continuing.

At New Plymouth’s Govett-Brewster Art Gallery, the Berlin-based 2018 Walters prize-winner Ruth Buchanan (see p.152) is presenting one of her most ambitious exhibitions to date. Buchanan has long been fascinated with the politics of collecting in museums – particularly in terms of how women are represented, and the role archives play in constructing and preserving cultural memory.

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February 2020