briefs

2021-02-23

A Vocabulary ... memory

.. the exhibition has ended

A Vocabulary ended its 10-week run @te_uru_gallery last Sunday, 14 February 2021, an emotional episode for most of the 5,932 people who wandered in .. gallery tour proposals are shortly to be scattered across Aotearoa New Zealand .. let’s see what happens.

Meanwhile, the 604-page, 250-edition artist book, under supply pressure for most of the exhibition, can be found in limited quantities at:

Te Uru Gallery, Titirangi 
@te_uru_gallery

Unity Books, Pōneke 
@unitybookswgtn

Strange Goods, Tāmaki 
@strange.goods

https://bruceconnew.com/books/

 

@vapourmomentabooks
@studiocatherine
@rangihiroa
@creativenz

continue reading

Exhibition

‘A Vocabulary’

“The captain says, ‘hoist the flag here’, and the Union Jack flew. Wednesday, 31 January 1770, in the presence of the chief — the height of summer, ‘light winds and variable’ on Motuara, this little island, a gesture to Tōtaranui Queen Charlotte Sound, Aotearoa New Zealand — Captain Cook took ‘possession’ of the ‘mainland’ for King George III.”

view project

briefs

2021-02-06

... Waitangi

.. hīkoi ki Waitangi, 1984 and Waitangi Day 2000
(work prints from the time)

1// hīkoi ki Waitangi, 6 February 1984

2// Eva Rickard outside Tūrangawaewae, hīkoi ki Waitangi, 1984

3// Waitangi Day, 6 February 2000

continue reading

briefs

2021-02-11

A Vocabulary ... kōrero

.. panel to kōrero

.. the exhibition A Vocabulary @te_uru_gallery, Titirangi ends this Sunday 14 February, “this very moving exhibition,” says John Hurrell today on EyeContact blog, a vocabulary of colonisation .. Saturday, 13 February, 13:00-15:00h,  @studiocatherine@rangihiroa and I are on a panel to kōrero about our work for this long journey about Aotearoa New Zealand’s reprehensible colonial wars, chaired by Andrew Clifford, director of the gallery


@vapourmomentabooks
@creativenz

continue reading

reviews

2021-02-11

‘A Vocabulary’ review, John Hurrell

..  ‘A Vocabulary’ review by John Hurrell, EyeContact, 11 February 2021

a sort of stuttering collective poem”

 isolated parts of speech vital to Connew’s aims, like the conjunction ‘and’ or adverb ‘also’ used to account for tragedies on both sides”

Sometimes in this Vocabulary Connew counter-charges by butting words from different images together—such as ‘tragically’ and ‘slaughter’—or showcasing ‘punitive of the crown, confiscation’”

 

https://eyecontactmagazine.com/2021/02/creating-a-common-vocabulary

continue reading

reviews

2016-05-10

‘Body of Work’ review, photo-eye Book of the Week

Daniel Boetker-Smith reviews ‘Body of Work’, photo-eye Book of the Week.

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

This week’s Book of the Week pick comes from Daniel Boetker-Smith who has selected ‘Body of Work’ by Bruce Connew from Vapour Momenta Books.

 

“Today Radiohead released their first new song in years. I’d set aside the afternoon especially to write this review of Bruce Connew’s newest publication ‘Body of Work’, with no idea that the quintet from Oxford who have crafted the soundtrack of my adult life would inadvertently tell me how to read and understand Connew’s book.

‘Street Spirit (Fade Out).’ I can remember the lurid lines: ‘Cracked eggs dead birds / scream as they fight for life / I can feel death / can see its beady eyes.’ These words have been etched into my psyche since I first heard them in 1995. Hearing these lines again today after a number of years it seems that nothing can more accurately describe Bruce Connew’s new book. Connew has been around, making books, since the late 80s, and he is somewhat of a national treasure in New Zealand; a prolific, smart and eminently generous artist. But he’s never made a work like this before, and I’m not sure he ever should or could again. This is his ‘Heart of Darkness’.

continue reading

book

‘A Vocabulary’

 


‘A Vocabulary’, Bruce Connew, is a 604-page, cloth, case-bound artist book in an edition of 325 (Vapour Momenta Books, 2021): 306 works, an introduction, ‘A vocabulary of colonisation’, with He Mōteatea The Lament, and essay The Sandfly Nips...The Conversation Continues by Rangihīroa Panoho.


After three years research, fieldwork, edit, research, more research, Covid-19, research, design, print and bind, the artist book and accompanying exhibition are here, the exhibition opening preview 16.00 – 18.00h, Saturday, 12 December 2020, Te Uru Waitākere Contemporary Gallery, Titirangi, Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland. Advance copies of the book will be available at Vapour Momenta Books and the Te Uru shop.


“I step mindfully onto the farmland to photograph a panorama of the battle site from both Māori and Pākehā points of view. After several footsteps, and with some bafflement, I stop dead in my tracks at a strange sensation deep inside my belly, which today I’m still unable clearly to throw light on. History was here, I grasp that, but this was out of that range. Does earth hold memory, and deliver that memory when the gravity is ripe? I quietly push forward. It was not the only occasion this phenomenon manifested while roaming the battles of Aotearoa’s reprehensible colonial wars. The memory of that memory has not grown pale.


Over several recent years, not the least abstractedly, I’ve roamed more, this time after the many memorials and gravestones for the dead of these wars, or more specifically, the texts on these testaments to folly. A vocabulary of colonisation.” Bruce Connew

view book

podcasts

2020-12-19

Kim Hill, Radio New Zealand, a podcast

... ‘A Vocabulary’ conversation with Kim Hill, 19 December 2020

Kim Hill and Bruce Connew discuss his work leading to the artist book ‘A Vocabulary’, with he mōteatea and essay by Rangīhiroa Panoho, design a collaboration between Catherine Griffiths and Bruce Connew .. the exhibition at Te Uru Waitākere Gallery, Titirangi ended 14 February 2021

 https://www.rnz.co.nz/national/programmes/saturday/audio/2018777909/photographer-bruce-connew-nz-s-colonial-memorials

 

@rangihiroa
@studiocatherine
@te_uru_gallery
@creative nz

continue reading

briefs

2020-12-16

A Vocabulary ... at the gallery

... artist book at the gallery

.. whew, the artist book is in gallery position [the shelf]! .. 13 only advance copies at the exhibition opening last weekend, and out the door in the blink of an eye .. back orders expanding @te_uru_gallery in the sans-Covid (🤞🏽) summer warmth .. more copies today, some for the gallery, some for our online shop and others as koha ♥️, wrapped with aroha, and posted here, there and everywhere tomorrow .. the calm before Kim Hill, @RadioNZ this Saturday .. 

/ with @studiocatherine after the week-long install according to her colour-coded and detailed drawings, first day open to the public / @rangihiroa photographing a plinth displaying his mihi, a poem, and excerpts from He Mōteatea The Lament and essay from the artist book / and with @psycho_andy_nz Andrew Clifford, Te Uru director and curator Chloe Geoghegan, massive support from this crew 🖤🖤

buy the book!

continue reading

briefs

2018-01-08

St. Florentin, Bourgogne

“... spot a heathen!”

There’s a 16th century, cathedral-sized church in St. Florentin, Bourgogne, Église de St. Florentin, quite exceptional .. it was locked, but I collected the big key this afternoon, and wandered, completely alone; uncharitably, I locked the heavy, wooden door behind me to remain alone — the chapels, ambulatory, the unfinished nave, the rood screen, baptismal, sacristy, the transept, north portal, here and there, the sun cascading through the west-side, well-storied stained glass windows, although not as awesome in the Autumn afternoon sun, I recall, as Gerhard Richter’s spectacular, abstract stained glass window in the scary Cologne Cathedral (that’s another story!).

I tried three times to light a candle in this church at St. Florentin, but each time an unseen ecumenical wind took the light away. When I WhatsApp’d this phenomenon to my London-based Catholic daughter, she said: “they can spot a heathen!”

Berlin is the next stop for ‘folded eggs’, to share the @gloria__books book table with @aliceconnew, another daughter (artist book: ‘forty three’), at Friends With Books, Hamburger Bahnhof Museum .. if you’re in the ‘hood October 19-21, we’ll be there, @studiocatherine too

continue reading

briefs

2021-01-27

A Vocabulary ... the stack

... wrapped for posting

.. another stack of  ‘A Vocabulary’ wrapped and posted today, here, there and everywhere (but why is New Zealand Post so big-ticket!??) .. more beautifully bound copies from the bookbinder soon, which we wrap with printer’s sheets retrieved from their recycle ♻️ bin and brown paper tape when you order online, link below .. dropped off copies to @te_uru_gallery shop for their long order list and shop counter, can’t keep up💨 .. all books signed by both @bruceconnew and @rangihiroa .. the exhibition on until 14FEB21🚩

buy the book!

continue reading

briefs

2021-03-05

A Vocabulary ... a heinous episode

.. a brutal dispossession

.. the captions to these two images from the artist book ‘A Vocabulary’ are below .. one of the more heinous episodes of Aotearoa New Zealand’s colonial wars .. the gravestone of Col Marmaduke George Nixon and the iwi pou whakamaumahara on the site that became whenua raupatu, confiscated Māori land, part of a brutal dispossession.

‘Gravestone, Col Marmaduke George Nixon, commander Colonial Defence Force Cavalry, with Capt Gustavus Ferdinand von Tempsky, No 2 Company Forest Rangers, 65th Regt, under Lt Gen Duncan Alexander Cameron, colonial and British forces, fatally wounded in the attack against Ngāti Apakura, Ngāti Hinetū and others, kāinga o Rangiaowhia, 21 February 1864. Triangle Reserve, Ōtāhuhu.’

‘Pou whakamaumahara (2015), attack against Ngāti Apakura, Ngāti Hinetū and others, kāinga o Rangiaowhia, by Col Marmaduke George Nixon, commander Colonial Defence Force Cavalry, with Capt Gustavus Ferdinand von Tempsky, No 2 Company Forest Rangers, 65th Regt, colonial and British forces, under Lt Gen Duncan Alexander Cameron, kāinga o Rangiaowhia, 21 February 1864. Rangiaowhia.’

//buy the book

continue reading

briefs

2018-06-04

‘Poetics of Music’

... a short story of an art school library

The odious proposal to cast out the library at the University of Auckland’s Elam School of Fine Arts brought to mind the other day my skirmish with an art school in Guildford, just south of London 45 years ago ... for the nine months of my truncated art school tenure, with complete disregard for tutors and their exasperating assignments, I hunkered down in the school’s prodigious library, kicking-off in one corner and reading my way round the shelves for months and months, anything and everything, books of photography, books about photography, and plenty beyond: Henri Cartier-Bresson images, Robert Frank’s ‘The Americans’, not quite grasping either, to a swashbuckling David Douglas Duncan’s ‘Yankee Nomad’, to ‘Words and Pictures’ by Wilson Hicks, and R. Smith Schumann’s ‘Photographic Communication’, which led to Frazer’s ‘The Golden Bough’, and Koestler’s ‘The Sleepwalkers’ … Man Ray, Callahan, Minor White, Brassaï, Cunningham, Dorothea Lange, Walker Evans, Uelsmann, Koudelka, Weston, Stieglitz, Eisenstaedt, McCullin, Eugene Smith, Gordon Parks and many, many more, a bringing to light.

The ‘Poetics of Music’, a paperback book of a series of lectures delivered by Igor Stravinsky at Harvard University 1939-1940, presented itself one morning. While the philosophy of music was very far from my capacity, I flicked open the pages and read (my copy still has its underlines): “Whatever diminishes constraint, diminshes strength.” I embraced this book hard, read and re-read it, sometimes only to replace the word ‘music’ with ‘photography’, a book about the sheer miscellany of the photography and texts on these shelves, a beacon, a lexicon almost, for understanding the bounty of this uncommon library.

When I told this story to the late Pete Turner, bon vivant, exile, and very smart and quick-witted editor of the now defunct, but then important, ‘Creative Camera’ magazine out of London, he said he too went to this art school in Guildford, only a few years before me, and then the library had been meagre, until the students brawled for it during the mighty political upheavals of 1968 .. a library is worth a good dust-up.

continue reading

reviews

2021-01-25

‘A Vocabulary’ review, Paul Diamond

.. ‘A Vocabulary’ review, Paul Diamond, 25 January 2021

Paul Diamond with his three top reads from 2020:
He Pukapuka Tātaku i Ngā Mahi a Te Rauparaha Nui / A Record of the Life of the Great Te Rauparaha by Ross Calman (Auckland University Press, $59.99)
A Vocabulary by Bruce Connew (Vapour Momenta Books, $95)
Crossing the Lines: The story of three homosexual New Zealand soldiers in WWII by Brent Coutts (Otago University Press, $49.95)

 https://www.rnz.co.nz/national/programmes/ninetonoon/audio/2018780832/paul-diamond-s-best-books-of-2020

continue reading

reviews

2021-04-26

‘A Vocabulary’ review, Ewan Morris

... ‘A Vocabulary’ review by historian, Ewan Morris, PastWord, 26 April 2021

Bruce Connew, A Vocabulary

Yesterday was Anzac Day, and across Aotearoa New Zealand, people gathered to commemorate at memorials to New Zealand’s involvement in overseas wars. Many other memorials across the country, however, were created to remember the wars that took place within Aotearoa between Māori and the forces of the settler state in the nineteenth century. In a recent exhibition and book, the photographer Bruce Connew focuses his camera and our attention on these other war memorials.

 
The photographic exhibition has, as far as I know, only been shown so far at Te Uru Waitākere Contemporary Gallery in Auckland, and I haven’t been able to see it. But a friend kindly lent me a copy of the amazing book that accompanies the exhibition. You can see images from the exhibition and book, both of which are entitled ‘A Vocabulary’, here and here.

 

continue reading