Sampling, reuse and copying have long been strategies and approaches in artistic practice and is a thread you can follow through art history. It’s an idea that speaks to the moment we’re in, our contemporary society is an image-hungry one, ready to re-use, re-work, re-frame, and exploit what they see.
But who owns art? Should culture be under copyright? What are the limits of fair use? And why do people get so worked up about it? Are there pure intentions behind concerns around control and authorship, or is it all about commerce?
These questions and often fraught conversations they trigger are explored in the artworks exhibited in Josh Azzarella: Triple Feature. Picking up and expanding on these conversations, City Gallery Wellington is excited to present Josh and artists Bronwyn Holloway-Smith and Eugene Hansen in a conversation.
Josh Azzarella creates videos and photographs that explore the power of context in the authorship of memory, oftentimes utilizing seminal moments in pop culture and news media creating confrontations that illuminate the individual encounter with communal experiences. His work evaluates the perception of realness – which can ultimately be rooted in both the fantastic as much as the pragmatic.
Dr Bronwyn Holloway-Smith is an artist, author, and Director of Public Art Heritage Aotearoa New Zealand at Toi Rauwhārangi Massey University College of Creative Arts. She lives in Island Bay, Wellington with her husband, three children, four chickens, and tropical fish.
Eugene Hansen is an artist, occasional author, and curator who produced collaborative multimedia art projects often comprised of installation, readymade sculpture, video and sound works. His work proposes that the world we inhabit might best be described as a politicised mediascape where deployed instances of contemporary popular culture reflect the ongoing processes of colonisation.
Caitlin Lynch is a film researcher and archivist from Te Whanganui-a-Tara. Her Masters thesis, ‘Revenge Remix: TERROR NULLIUS and the Politics of Sample Filmmaking' (2020), investigates how cutting and collaging audiovisual pop culture can upset colonial mythologies and commercial ownership