Joanne Moar & Jim Speers
Fiona Gunn & Frances
Phil Dadson & Mike
3x2 was a series of three exhibitions, each featuring two
artists, that ran at the Physics Room from February to June.
The artists were invited to present their work with the exhibition
space's context in mind, including its past uses and its wider surroundings.
One way of considering the work, then, is in relation to these things.
The two artists paired for the first of the three shows in
3x2 are at the beginning of their careers and both in their mid-twenties.
Joanne Moar is in her second year of a two year course at
the Kunstakademie Duesseldorf in Germany, working with the artist
Professor Magdalena Jetelova. She grew up in Canterbury, and graduated
from the University of Canterbury School of Fine Arts in 1993.
Joanne Moar's work presents us with language, written and
spoken. As single words are printed on the screen and spoken by
recorded voices, you could see them as being treated with the methodical
abstraction of some academic study. Her recent work has in fact
made use of learning material developed for students of English
as a foreign language, in particular a list of 1000 words which
are claimed to be the core vocabulary of English. The connotations
of study might evoke these rooms' original use as part of Canterbury
University College. (The College was the precursor to the University
of Canterbury, which relocated from what is now the Arts Centre
to the suburb of Ilam.)
Depending on what language is native to you, you might see this
work in different ways. For an English speaker, the individual words
each bear meanings, but through the continuous overlaying and repetition,
they become indistinguishable and meaningless. The resulting noise
and confusion might alienate even native speakers from their own
language. Moar says of her work, "...traditionally New Zealanders
have been primarily mono-lingual, seldom confronted by another language.
On one level the work presents for native English speakers an experience
of being a foreigner to their own language, but in a more general
and fundamental way the work is a metaphor for the confusion, multiple
meanings and misinterpretations that emerge from the process of
Reviews, Essays & Articles
Interpretations of art installations
The Press, 1997 Mar. 12, p. 16
3 x 2, installations by Jim Speers and Joanne Moar.